Number of hospital beds and
doctors in cities and counties, 1952 - 2002
Source: China Statistical Yearbook,
2003, Table 21-36, p. 806.
Note 1: Before 1978 statistical data are questionable - particularly
during the period of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural
Note 2: Doctors include traditional healers, university-trained
doctors and physicians with a university certification.
According to these official
statistics, the health infrastructure of counties and cities (which
can be taken as approximation for rural and urban areas) developed
quite differently: While the number of hospital beds in cities (urban
areas) increased - particularly in the 1980s and 1990s, it decreased
in the counties (rural areas).
This concentration of medical
facilities in cities can be also observed among the medical personnel:
Since the early 1980s the number of doctors and university-certified
physicians in cities exceeded the number of doctors and physicians in
the counties. The number of medical doctors and physicians in the
counties stagnated or even declined since 1988.