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Healthcare Services to Improve

Expecting parents and other citizens can expect better public services, a top health official said yesterday.

Acts have been adopted to decrease birth defects and monitor the side effects of contraceptive methods and equipment, director of the National Population and Family Planning Commission Zhang Weiqing said at a working conference in Beijing.

The commission will also train more professional consultants to advise couples on ensuring babies' health and using contraceptives, he added.

The commission cited practices by health authorities in Dalian, Liaoning Province, as exemplary.

More than 1.26 million women in Dalian have enjoyed free gynecological health checkups funded by the municipal population and family planning commission.

The commission distributed about 1 million pamphlets on family medicine to local households, and nearly all of the city's pregnant women were given free nutritional supplements.

In addition, 8,000 migrant workers in Dalian received free physical checkups, and those with reproductive organ diseases were treated for free, the commission said.

Over the past two years, the city has spent more than 22 million yuan (US$2.93 million) to provide free contraceptive medicine and equipment for its migrant workers and unemployed.

(China Daily December 7, 2007)

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