Graphic representation of the DNA sequence. Photo: iStock

There is a looming talent shortage of genetic counselors in China, said Shen Yiping, director of the medical genetics training at Harvard Medical School. Shen thinks China will need at least 100,000 genetic counselors to fulfill the increasing demand, Yicai.com reported.

“You cannot even find the term for genetic counselors in the Chinese occupational classification system,” said He Ping, a director at the Genetics Society of China.

With the gradual introduction of genetic testing services into clinical practice, the industry began to show a supply shortage.

So far, in addition to some doctors’ partial commitment to genetic counseling, domestic services are mainly provided by some private companies.

He thinks the domestic gene sequencing market is basically saturated, with the continuous emergence of private companies in this area.

Thus, the establishment of relevant laws, norms and standards for the industry has become a top priority. Even the legalization of the genetic counselor occupation remains a big challenge, He said.