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China to Boost Basic Medical Care in Quake-hit Zone

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While continuing to treat those injured in the quake, China's health authorities plan to boost basic medical services in quake-hit northwest China's Qinghai Province.

"Now we will move from emergency medical treatment to basic health care services for the local people," said Liang Wannian, head of the ministry's emergency office at a press conference here.

Since the quake, most medical workers in the quake zone have been surgeons and nurses for intensive care. Over the past eight days, they performed 544 emergency surgical operations.

"More physicians, gynecologists and pediatricians will be dispatched to the region, especially those with expertise in treating diseases of high incidence in the region," he said.

The medical workers from outside the province will be put to work in local hospitals and they will not only provide medical service but also train local doctors, Liang said.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the 7.1-magnitude quake had killed 2,187 people and left 12,135 injured, of whom 1,434 were in a serious condition.

Some 9,145 people have been hospitalized as a result of injuries suffered in the quake which struck Yushu, Qinghai Province, on April 14, Liang told the press conference.

Some 35 civilian and military medical teams with 3,346 medical workers have been working in Yushu since the quake. They have treated about 40,000 patients in the last eight days.

Authorities arranged for 400 ambulances and about 1,000 units of blood, or 200,000 ml, for the quake zone.

Liang siad, as the quake zone is at a high altitude and because local medical facilities were badly damaged in the quake, the seriously injured were transferred to nearby cities.

About 2,500 patients have been transferred to 38 hospitals in nearby Golmud, Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture; Qinghai's provincial capital Xining; and cities in neighboring Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu and Tibet.

Some 1,434 of the transferred patients were transported to hospitals outside of the quake zone within three days of the quake and 154 have been discharged, Liang said.

(Xinhua News Agency April 23, 2010)

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