Health Minister Gao Qiang has told the China Hospitals Association that state funding of the sector had fallen from 6% of total expenditure in the 1980s and 1990s to 4% in 2002, the South China Morning Post reported. Of this year's budget of more than US$3.7 billion, only US$14.9 million was earmarked for health care. "This percentage is not only much lower than in developed countries; it's lower than a lot of developing countries," he said. Only 20% of health-care resources went to rural areas, while the most advanced technology, equipment and human resources went to big cities. A study by the World Health Organization and the Development Research Center last year ranked China the fourth-worst in equitable distribution of medical resources.