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Healthcare in Zhejiang

Located on the southeast coast of China, Zhejiang Province borders Shanghai on the northeast and enjoys the vigorous social-economic development of the Yangtze River Delta. There are two sub-provincial cities and 9 regional level cities, including the capital city Hangzhou and Zhoushan Islands New Area. Consisting of 104,000 km2 land area and 260,000 km2 marine area, Zhejiang Province accounts for 1% of the total Chinese territory. However, Zhejiang accommodates 4% of the country’s total population -55.39 million permanent residents and 11.824 million migrants, and contributes 7% of China’s total GDP. In 2015, Zhejiang’s GDP reached 4288.6 billion RMB (~680.7 billion USD) and its provincial GDP per capita is 72,967 RMB (~11,878 USD) in 2014.


With an increasingly ageing population, Zhejiang spares no efforts to improve its healthcare system. In 2013, its total health expenditure was 171.2 billion RMB, a 4.56% of the provincial GDP. Of the 171.2 billion, 35.2 billion RMB came directly from the government, an increase of 14.7% compared to that in 2012.


The health resources in Zhejiang are diversified and abundant. Overall, there are 30,360 health facilities, including 935 hospitals, 100 CDCs, 103 health inspection institutes, 89 MCH hospitals, 6,166 community health service centers and stations, 1,139 township hospitals and some other private clinics.


Zhejiang has a well-designed layout of different specialties, including national key clinical specialties, national key TCM specialties and provincial medical centers. These centers are distributed evenly across the whole province so that the general public can have easy access to advanced medical care.


Since 2009, the numbers of physicians, nurses and hospital beds per 1000 population have been increasing. For example, the number of physicians per 1000 population rose from 2.05 in 2009 to a maximum of 2.78 in 2015, and is projected to continue rising. The nurses and hospital beds per 1000 population also share the similar tendency.


Fuelled by the growing population, health demands in Zhejiang have increased dramatically over the years. The number of outpatients and emergency patients markedly rose from 303.04 million in 2009 to 476.73 million in 2015. The number of patients discharged increased from 3.85 million in 2009 to 6.82 million in 2015. Those two indicators are the best reflection of people’s escalating demand for healthcare services.


As for the main health indicators--maternal mortality rate, infant mortality rate and average life expectancy, Zhejiang Province is also above the national average. The maternal mortality rate in Zhejiang is 55.2/1 million compared to 217/1 million of the national average. The infant mortality rate is 2.79‰ compared to 6.3‰ of the national average. Plus, the average life expectancy of Zhejiang is 78.09, slightly higher than the national average life expectancy of 75.3.