Intended for healthcare professionals


Health services in China face enormous challenge after earthquake

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 29 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1209
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

    As well as the more than 80 000 people dead or missing as a result of the earthquake in Sichuan on 12 May, at least 292 480 people were injured and 5.4 million were left homeless, creating a huge medical and public health challenge for the Chinese authorities.

    Non-governmental organisations have rushed to the aid of China’s medical system. They have found that although basic medical needs are being met, highly specialised medical expertise and equipment are urgently needed.

    “What is coming across clearly to us,” said Martin De Smet, head of the emergency unit at the Brussels headquarters of Médecins Sans Frontières, “is that the basic needs of public …

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