China to train 22 000 more paediatricians in next four years

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 07 March 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1376
  1. Michael Woodhead
  1. Sydney

China is taking drastic steps to increase the number of paediatricians, as the country faces a crippling shortage of child health specialists with its move away from a one child policy.

The National Health and Family Planning Commission announced on 24 February that it would seek to expand training places to produce up to 22 000 extra paediatric physicians by 2020.

China is already experiencing a severe shortage of paediatricians, with fewer than 118 000 clinicians to serve a population of 220 million children under the age of 14, a ratio of only 0.5 practitioners per 1000 children.

The Chinese Medical Doctors Association stated that China needs an extra 200 000 paediatricians if it is to match the ratio of 1.4 paediatricians per 1000 patients seen in developed countries.

The shortage of paediatricians is likely to …

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