China to beat geographical inequalities in cancer treatment

In a country the size of China, stepping foot into a hospital at the county level and in the city can be very different. Medical experts say reducing geographical inequality when it comes to medical standards should be one of the government’s priorities in the near future.

According to Gu Jin, dean of Peking University Shougang Hospital, when it comes to cancer treatment, big Chinese cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai don’t differ too much from international standards.

He said, “However, when you look at the 5-year benchmark for the cancer survival rate, we are over 20-percent lower than the United States.”

The disparity lies in county-level hospitals. He added, “We have over 6,000 county hospitals covering more than 3,000 counties. These hospitals serve 900 million people, essentially over 70 percent of the country’s population. So, improving diagnosis and treatment standards at the grassroots level is key.”

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