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China Adopts Five-Year Health Plan

China's State Council adopted a five-year plan on Wednesday to further develop the country's public health system.

China will establish a basic medical and healthcare network covering all urban and rural residents by the end of 2010, according to the plan, passed in principle at an executive meeting of the State Council.

Participants at the meeting said that pushing forward development of health services is a crucial task for the government and a necessary step towards building a harmonious society.

The network will include a public health service system, a rural cooperative medical care system, an urban community medical service system, and drug management and public hospital management systems.

The meeting urged heightened reform of medicine management and healthcare system, increasing investment in the public health sector, attaching equal importance to western and traditional Chinese medicine, and inviting individuals and non-government organizations to participate in health and medical services.

The meeting, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, also passed the 2007 work outline of the State Council.

(Xinhua News Agency March 22, 2007)

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