China / Society

China faces shortage of pediatricians

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-09-11 17:47

China is facing a critical shortage of pediatric medical resources, according to a press conference held by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) on Thursday.

The number of hospital beds for pediatrics accounts for 5.6 percent of the total, while pediatricians make up 3.8 percent of all medical practitioners, according to the NHFPC's 2013 statistics.

But minors under the age of 14 account for 16.5 percent of the total population, pointing to a disproportionate allocation of medical resources, said Li Dachuan, an official with the NHFPC.

Pediatric medicine has a reputation for higher labor intensity, greater medical risk and comparatively low salary, which scares away young doctors, Li said.

The current medical system is not favorable for the development of pediatrics, Li said. For example, medical insurance doesn't cover outpatient fees for children, Li added.

The NHFPC will introduce an incentive-based pay system to encourage medical personnel to work in pediatrics.

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