The meeting celebrating the 10th anniversary of the targeted enrollment of medical students for rural areas in China was held in Cangnan County, Zhejiang Province, on January 7. Zhong Denghua, vice minister of Education, and Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission, attended the meeting and made remarks. Chen Weijun, member of the standing committee of Zhejiang Provincial Party Committee and secretary of Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee delivered a speech at the meeting. Cheng Yuechong, vice governor of Zhejiang Province, attended the meeting.
It was pointed out that strengthening the cultivation of rural-oriented medical students is an important measure to implement the decision-making of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and accelerate the construction of a healthy China. It is crucial to the implementation of the country's poverty alleviation strategy through improving education and providing better health care. It is an effective way to deepen the health system reform and strengthen the primary health care workforce. It is a fundamental policy to improve the health care services at the grass-roots level and promote the establishment of tiered medical services system.
Remarkable achievements have been made in the training of rural-oriented medical students over the past decade. The linkages between enrollment, cultivation, employment and utilization have been established through institutional innovation. Rural students are given access to free medical education through this program as a result of innovative policy. They are equipped with stronger performance competencies through the innovation of training mode. Graduates of this program will serve the rural population for certain years with a clearer pathway for career development through the innovation of mechanisms. This program has cultivated around 57,000 medical students for township health centers in central and western China, that is, one general practitioner each township health center in central and western China, which provides strong support for the health care of people in terms of workforce.
Zhong Denghua, vice minister of Education
Zhong emphasized that, medical education is facing an incredible development opportunity in the new era. We should study and implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's important remarks and spirits in a deep-going way. A new round of comprehensive reform is implemented, focusing on optimizing structure, improving quality, promoting collaboration between medical education and practice, reform and innovation, education of traditional Chinese medicine, and cultivation of health professional at grass-roots level, to nurture reliable doctors and enhance the ability to serve the whole people. Colleges and universities should speed up the training of high-quality grassroots health personnel, taking the educational achievements of “stay true to our aspiration and never forget our mission” as a driving force for reform and innovation. Efforts should be made to improve the balance mechanism of talent supply and demand, the linkage mechanism of collaborative education, and the guarantee mechanism of talent training. Efforts should be made to promote the modernization of education governance system and capacity, and to promote the further development of training of rural-oriented medical students, so as to lay a solid foundation for the development of grass-roots health services in terms of talents and contribute more to the poverty alleviation and healthy China initiatives.
Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the National Health Commission
Zeng urged that all localities implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's Healthy China Initiative and the documents on general practitioners issued by the State Council earnestly and the comprehensive reform of medical education be deepened with demand as the guide and quality as the core. We must intensify our efforts in personnel training and gradually expand the enrollment scale of rural-oriented students. We should further improve the quality of personnel training by combining medical professional training with the education of humanity, honesty and ethics, to nurture health professionals with reverence for life, life-saving humanitarian, devotion to duty and boundless love. We should continue to improve our policies and provide adequate support in ten aspects including authorized size of staff, academic degrees, housing, payment and continuous education. Last but not least, we should enhance publicity and commend outstanding general practitioners so that the public will respect, trust and support them.
Chen Weijun, member of the standing committee of Zhejaing Provincial Party Committee and secretary of Wenzhou Municipal Party Committee
Chen mentioned that education and health has always been of our uppermost priority for the improvement of the people's livelihood and the development of Wenzhou in recent years. We have earnestly implemented the strategy of strengthening the country through education and the Healthy China Initiative, and remarkably promoted the high-quality development of education and health by combining government guidance with market participation, developing state-run institutions together with private ones, and strengthening high-end advantageous while improving weaknesses. At the historic juncture of successfully building a moderately prosperous society, education and health are playing a more prominent role in poverty alleviation. Faced with the important mission of winning the critical battle and building on our achievements, Wenzhou will take this meeting as an opportunity to benefit from good experience and practice of other regions, keep innovation and take on the responsibility, strive to promote education and health to a new level, so as to contribute more Wenzhou strength to the high-level and all-round construction of a moderately prosperous society.
Wu Yan, director of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education
Wu Yan, director of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of Education, presided over the meeting. Attending the meeting are officials of relevant government departments, including the Department of Higher Education of Ministry of Education, the Department of Health Sciences, Technology and Education of National Health Commission, the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province, and the Health Commission of Zhejiang Province, leaders of universities that enroll rural-oriented students, and some experts.
Yan Chunhua, president of Lanzhou University
Gao Fashui, secretary of Xinjiang Medical University Party Committee
He Zhixu, secretary of Zunyi Medical University Party Committee
Presidents of Lanzhou University, Xinjiang Medical University and Zunyi Medical University respectively introduced their experience in training general practitioners with titles of “Training Excellent Talents in and for Western China”, “Establishing a multidimensional platform for continuous education” and “Collaborative cooperation among three types of relations: health and education, universities and localities, families and universities”.
Lu Fan, secretary of Wenzhou Medical University Party Committee
Lu Fan, secretary of Wenzhou Medical University Party Committee, shared the university's experience in training rural-oriented medical students. In the past decade, Wenzhou Medical University has come up with a training mode of “unified provincial enrollment and examination under national standards, and county hospitals management of general practitioners working for rural grassroots medical institutions” through a combination of top-down design and practical exploration. This is a training mode with the characteristics of the country, the time, and the university. It has contributed valuable experience for the medical reform of the country. As a result, the mode of “county hospitals management of general practitioners working for rural grassroots medical institutions” has been adopted in the the documents on collaboration between medical education and practice issued by the State Council and put into practice in over 30 provinces nationwide. After ten years of efforts, Wenzhou Medical University has trained general practitioners not only for Wenzhou, but for 11 cities and 69 counties in Zhejiang Province, adding up to 1,436 primary-level medical personnel. Its pass rate of Practitioners Exam has been in the forefront of China for five consecutive years. 89.9% of its graduates kept their promises to provide health care services in rural areas in 2019, rising from 69% in 2013. Moreover, students' satisfaction with grassroots work also increased from 42% to 80%, and employers' satisfaction with graduates reached 100%.
Local representatives and representatives of graduates shared their thoughts.
113 universities initiated the establishment of the Association of Universities and Colleges for Rural-oriented Medical Students Training, and Li Xiaokun, president of Wenzhou Medical University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was elected as president of the association. Taking the establishment and improvement of the general practitioner system and the realization of the health of the whole people as its ultimate goal, the association will promote collaboration between medical education and practice, intensify the development of disciplines, develop standards for cultivation, improve education quality, enhance competencies of medical students, gradually improve the diagnosis and treatment abilities of grassroots general practitioners, and provide the world with China's strategy of training and improving the ability of local general practitioners. Based on the achievements we made from the reform and practice of the past decade, the association has a special emphasis on the study of the current situation, trend, focus and difficulties of general practice medicine education at home and abroad, and explore to establish a general practitioner training system with “5+3” (five-year undergraduate program on clinical medicine plus three-year of standardized residency program or three-year postgraduate education of master's degree in clinical medicine) as its main part. The association will look into the development of professional curriculum system, quality standards and evaluation criteria in line with our objectives of talent training.
After the meeting, participants went to Wenzhou Medical University, Cangnan County People's Hospital, Cangnan County Mazhan Health Center and other sites for inspection separately.