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An analysis of women's and children's health professional requirements in China in 2010 based on workload

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    Rights statement: © 2014 Song et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2014



To make health services more equitable and accessible for women and children and to achieve a universal coverage, human resources for women and children’s health (WCH) should be evaluated. However, since there is still no consensus on the real situation of Chinese WCH professionals, we aim with this study to compare the actual and required amount of WCH professionals for China.


The data of the actual number of WCH professionals and workload of each service type was obtained by a national institution-based sampling survey. We then estimated the time that a WCH professional spends at work (annually), the time norm of each service schedule and the required number of WCH professionals based on workload. We evaluated the situation of Chinese WCH professionals in 2010 by comparing the actual and required WCH professionals and by calculating the ratios of the actual-to-required number of staff.


There were 515,778 health professionals providing WCH services in the investigated 5,168 medical/health institutions in 2010. Workloads of most WCH services in east areas were larger than that in the central and the west. For women’s health, the numbers of required WCH professionals were 48510, 43992, 40571 and 133073 for the east, the central, the west areas and the whole nation respectively. For children’s health professionals, the corresponding numbers were 56241, 36818, 40618 and 133677 for the east, the central, the west and the whole nation.


The WCH professionals in China were sufficient for workload in 2010, there were still lots of potential capacities to provide better services, especially for women. Strategies should be taken to improve the quality of WCH professionals or their working motivation.

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