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Better Health Care - China unveils detailed public hospital reform guidance

2010-02-24 08:22 BJT

China has announced plans on the reform of public hospitals , aiming to ease the convenience for the public to see a doctor.

The guidance says public hospital reform is aimed at benefiting the people. It says Chinese traditional medical treatment and western methods are both important, and resources in both urban and rural areas should be assigned properly.

The reforms place importance on fairness and efficiency in treatment, and give the leading role to public hospitals. And non-public hospitals are also encouraged. These hospitals will share the same service standards and supervision with the public ones.

Meanwhile, the reforms focus on preventing hospitals from relying on medicine sales to stay in operation. The guidance says the prices for medicines and examinations using big equipment should be lowered, and the profit made to keep the hospitals running should gradually be eliminated. To realize this, some service prices will be increased and more health insurance funds will be used. The government will also increase its investment, taking on the responsibility for construction, and purchase of expensive diagnostic equipment, and pensions.

The guidance points out the necessity for training resident doctors, stressing that the standards and mechanism of the training should be improved.

So far, one or two cities in each province has been chosen to test the reforms. The Health Ministry will strengthen research and supervision on the test hospitals, and try to solve problems as they arise. Based on their experience, hospitals nationwide will carry out the reform gradually.