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Sub-anchor:China promotes family doctors


11-11-2016 05:35 BJT

On a more serious note, China has given another push to the reform of health care. The government rolled out a set of set guidelines aiming to encourage useful experiences in health care reform. For more on this, we are joined in the studio by CCTV's Jin Yingqiao.

Q1, Yingqiao, what do the guidelines say?

A1, The reform has entered deeper waters, addressing vested interests and old systems, but the political will to see things changed is strong. Some of the key takeaways from the guidelines... First, building a strong mechanism for offering leadership in advancing the reform. The guidelines lauded the medical insurance fund management center in Fujian. It's multiple functions include running the insurance fund, oversight of medical practices, and the procurement of medical supplies.

Second, precluding hospitals from making profits by selling medicine, and finding new ways for publicly-funded hospitals to be sustainable. If you go to Chinese public hospitals, you will often find that the fee you pay for a checkup by the doctor is less than a dollar, and the hospital has to compensate for this by selling medicine at high prices and sometimes patients are prescribed expensive drugs or exams which aren't necessary.

The guidelines promote reforms of medical staff's salaries, as many of them are underpaid in China that's in stark contrast with developed regions where being a doctor means you are upper middle class.

Another bright point promotes the notion of having contracts for family doctors, which is rare in China and also the promotion of the system that encourages patients to get treated at community level medical centers first, before going to big hospitals if necessary. Oftentimes, big hospitals are flooded with people with minor illnesses as people lack faith in basic level clinics.

Q2, China has been championing health care reform for years. What have we achieved so far?

A2, Certainly some stellar performance: Over 95 percent people are currently covered by some form of insurance, it didn't take many years for this to happen, leading to the building of the world's biggest basic health care security net. China's overall health conditions are better than the average level of mid-to-higher income countries.

China's average life expectancy has risen from over 74 years in 2010 to more than 76 years in 2015. Maternal mortality has gone down from 24.2 in 100,000 in 2008 to 20.1 in 100,000 in 2015. Infant mortality rate has also gone down by 14.9 in 1000 to 8.1 in one 1000.

And in terms of medical bills people pay out of their own pockets: The ratio has gone down from over 40 percent in 2008 to less than 30 percent in 2015. These numbers all reaching the the United Nations' Millennial Development goals.

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