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Chinese Journal of Dental Research
Chin J Dent Res 21 (2018), No. 4     15. Oct. 2018
Chin J Dent Res 21 (2018), No. 4  (15.10.2018)

Page 285-297, doi:10.3290/j.cjdr.a41087, PubMed:30264045


Report of the National Investigation of Resources for Oral Health in China
Sun, Xiang Yu / Yuan, Chao / Wang, Xiao Zhe / Wang, Xing / Feng, Xi Ping / Tai, Bao Jun / Hu, De Yu / Lin, Huan Cai / Wang, Bo / Si, Yan / Wang, Chun Xiao / Rong, Wen Sheng / Wang, Wei Jian / Liu, Xue Nan / Zheng, Shu Guo
Objective: To investigate the current status and distribution of resources for oral health in China, by means of analysing national data from the National Investigation of Resources for Oral Health.
Methods: The National Investigation of Resources for Oral Health in China was performed in 2015, in parallel with the 4th National Oral Health Survey of China (2015 to 2016). A structured questionnaire on resources for oral health was used to collect the data of professional institutions and stomatological/dental workforce in each province. For each province, the local Investigation Group was responsible to summarise the status and distribution of institutions with stomatological/dental departments and stomatological/dental workforce. Descriptive analysis of resources for oral health was performed to learn about the number and percentage of each category both for each province and nationally. The ratio of number of stomatological/dental workforce to population was also calculated and compared with the criteria of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Results: There were totally 75,399 stomatological/dental departments nationally in all professional institutions in the mainland of China, most of which were set in institutions of primary health care services. Institutions of private sectors accounted for a higher proportion (69.8%) which was over two-fold compared to that of public ones (30.2%). General hospitals were the major part of hospitals with stomatological/dental departments compared with stomatological/dental specialised hospitals. Stomatological/dental clinics were the majority of institutions of primary health care services, compared to community health care service centres/stations and township health care services. Amongst all professional institutions of public health with stomatological/dental departments, 35.0% were maternal and child health care services and 11.2% were institutions for prevention and control of oral diseases. The total number of stomatological/dental workforce in the country was 314,347, among whom 171,587 (54.6%) were stomatologists/dentists. The ratio of number of stomatologists/dentists to population was 1:7,768 nationally, which was lower than the WHO standard of 1:5,000.
Conclusion: The National Investigation of Resources for Oral Health in China exhibited the current status and distribution of resources for oral health over the country, whereas insufficiencies of stomatological/dental workforce and institutions and inequalities of their distribution were found nationally. This could provide some policy suggestions for the health authorities in China to promote oral health in the Chinese population in the future.

Keywords: National Investigation of Resources for Oral Health, professional institutions, ratio of stomatologists/dentists to population stomatological/dental departments, stomatological/dental workforce