Chinese doctors to receive remote medical education via satellite network

Beijing 13 December 2000China has formulated plans to extend long-distance continued medical education (CME) to its 5.5 million medical professionals, to help physicians and doctors improve their professional competence. This was announced by an official from the Chinese Ministry of Health, according to reporters from the Xinhua News Agency.


The Chinese Ministry of Health selected the Beijing Worthope Sathen Network Technology Company Ltd. to do the investment and to set up the Satellite Tele-Health Education Network. The ministry's official spokesman stated that the government intends the network to become a long-distance medical education network which will cover the entire country through satellite communication, multimedia, and computer networks.

The network will provide CME services, post-graduation medical education, and physician training to the 5.5 million medical professionals throughout China, as well as offer education to rural doctors, as reported by Xinhua. Medical professionals, particularly those in rural and remote areas, will get tailored knowledge and customised technology, adapted to their needs and not limited by time and place.

The Ministry of Health will install more than 20.000 training stations around the country by 2005 for the purpose of CME. Professor Li Zhu, who is part of the CME committee, established by the Ministry of Health, explained that the government would have completed the implementation of the exemplified network by the end of 2000.

In the next phase, the satellite network will be extended to ten provinces and municipalities by 2001, in order to reach its full capacity in 2005, as stated by Professor Li Zhu.

Leslie Versweyveld

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