Chinese agencies recommend boosting number of ICU beds

China should increase the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds over the next few years as part of its measures, according to a joint statement published on Monday by several state agencies. The world’s second most populous country has gradually increased ICU beds over the years, but critics say its health system remains under-resourced. It was also severely stretched after authorities abruptly ended national restrictions in late 2022.China had only 4.37 ICU beds per 100,000 people in 2021, compared with 34.2 in the United States as of 2015, according to a paper by Shanghai’s Fudan School of Public Health.The number of ICU beds nationwide should reach 15 per 100,000 people by the end of 2025 and 18 per 100,000 by the end of 2027, the National Health Commission and other state agencies said in a proposal.The proposal also recommended the number beds convertible to ICU should reach 10 per 100,000 people by 2025 and 12 by 2027.