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Rural Doctors Face Tests

China has moved to assess the qualifications of the country's village doctors to improve the quality of the medicare service in the vast rural area.

Village doctors will be evaluated by county-level health bureaus on the basis of their medical techniques, professional ethics and feedback from villagers, according to a new regulation on the management of the profession.

The regulation, posted on the Ministry of Health Website yesterday, only applies to doctors who have obtained a medicare license and practiced medical services in villages.

Doctors could continue their profession if they passed the assessment, according to the regulation, adding that those who failed the first time could re-apply within six months.

Those who were disqualified for the second time could have their licenses revoked, the regulation said.

The assessment would occur once every two years and comes after a regulation on village doctor professional qualifications took effect in 2004.

The regulation required medical practitioners in the countryside to apply for licenses before continuing their practice.

China has about 1.02 million village doctors, accounting for a quarter of the country's medical population. Only 10 percent of them has qualifications, according to a China News Service report yesterday.

(Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2008)

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