Saturday, May 2, 2009

China proposing universal health care system

by M. Ulric Killion

For 2009, China's State Council proposed major health care reforms. One goal is an eventual reduction in the medical expenses of Chinese citizens by the year 2011. The State Council also proposed preventing hospitals from overcharging patients, preventing treating physicians from prescribing unnecessary drugs, and decoupling hospitals from affiliated-pharmacies to reduce financial incentives for hospitals to over prescribe or prescribe unnecessary drugs. The State Counsel also foresees the government providing financial assistance to those hospitals experiencing losses in income, which would be caused by the new health care reforms.

Other proposed measures are price fixing for both health care products and services (i.e., diagnosis), and a new provision that allows physicians to practice in different hospitals and even to open their own community clinics. Since the 1980s, there have been on-going health care reforms; some successful, some not so successful. For instance, in the 1980s, policy intending to expand health care services by allowing hospitals to profit from their services, actually, constricted available health care coverage. This is because previously free basic health care for all Chinese citizens became no longer available both to rural residents and those who were not employees of the government or state-owned enterprises. The new reforms intend to correct past problems by building a universal health care system that covers all citizens, including rural residents, while also reducing medical costs.

Medical reform road map: in 2020 the establishment of universal basic health insurance [医改路线图:2020年基本建立全民医保].

According to Xinhua News Agency, Beijing, April 6 - Authorized Xinhua News Agency released on the 6th, "the CPC Central Committee and State Council on Deepening the views of the medical and health system" (hereinafter referred to as "views"). "Opinions" put forward a "cost effective treatment to reduce the burden of residents to effectively alleviate the 'difficult to see a doctor, a doctor of your' choice" . The short-term objectives, as well as "establish and improve the urban and rural residents covered by basic medical and health system for the masses to provide a safe, effective, convenient and cheap medical and health services "in the long run.

"Opinions" The full text of more than 13,000 words, is divided into six parts, including: First, fully understand the medical and health system reform to deepen the importance and urgency and difficulty; Second, to deepen the medical and health system's guiding ideology, basic principles and overall objectives; three, four systems to improve medical and health, the establishment of urban and rural residents covered by basic medical and health system; four and improve the institutional mechanisms for the protection of medical and health system for effective, standardized operation; five, five key focus of reform efforts, and strive to achieve the near future notable results; six, actively and steadily push forward the medical and health system.

"Opinions" put forward to deepen the overall medical and health system objectives. By 2011, a comprehensive basic medical security system covering both urban and rural residents, the initial establishment of a basic drug system, urban and rural primary health care system to further improve health services, universal access to basic public health services, reform of public hospitals to make a breakthrough, significantly raise the basic medical and health services accessibility, cost effective medical treatment to alleviate the burden of residents to effectively alleviate the "difficult to see a doctor, a doctor of your choice".

By 2020, urban and rural residents covered by basic medical and health system and the basic set up. Establish a relatively complete system of public health services and medical service system, a relatively sound medical security system, the availability of drugs in a fairly standard security system, more scientific institutions of medical and health management system and operational mechanism, the formation of multi-run medical pattern for all basic medical and health services, the basic masses of the people to adapt to multi-level medical and health needs, the level of the people to further improve the health of the masses.

新华社6日受权发布《中共中央国务院关于 深化医药卫生体制改革的意见》(以下简称《意见》)。《意见》提出了"有效减轻居民就医费用负担,切实缓解'看病难、看病贵'"的近期目标,以及"建立健 全覆盖城乡居民的基本医疗卫生制度,为群众提供安全、有效、方便、价廉的医疗卫生服务"的长远目标。

《意见》全文13000余字,共分六个部分,包括:一、充分认识深化医药卫生体制改革的重要性、紧迫性和艰巨性;二、深化医药卫生体制改革的指 导思想、基本原则和总体目标;三、完善医药卫生四大体系,建立覆盖城乡居民的基本医疗卫生制度;四、完善体制机制,保障医药卫生体系有效、规范运转;五、 着力抓好五项重点改革,力争近期取得明显成效;六、积极稳妥推进医药卫生体制改革。

《意见》提出了深化医药卫生体制改革的总体目标。到2011年,基本医疗保障制度全面覆盖城乡居民,基本药物制度初步建立,城乡基层医疗卫生服 务体系进一步健全,基本公共卫生服务得到普及,公立医院改革试点取得突破,明显提高基本医疗卫生服务可及性,有效减轻居民就医费用负担,切实缓解"看病 难、看病贵"问题。

2020年,覆盖城乡居民的基本医疗卫生制度基本建立。普遍建立比较完善的公共卫生服务体系和医疗服务体系,比较健全的医疗保障体系,比较规 范的药品供应保障体系,比较科学的医疗卫生机构管理体制和运行机制,形成多元办医格局,人人享有基本医疗卫生服务,基本适应人民群众多层次的医疗卫生需 求,人民群众健康水平进一步提高。]. . .


Eric Mu, Universal Health Care for China?,, April 7, 2009.

State Council reveals new health care reform measures, Oriental Morning Post (Dongfang Zao Bao), April 7, 2009, [东方早报].

Announced a new medical reform program to alleviate medical difficulties, your doctor, Oriental Morning Post (Dongfang Zao Bao), April, 7, 2009, [新医改方案公布 缓解看病难、看病贵, 东方早报].

Xinhua news agency, Beijing, April 6, 2009, [新华社,北京,46].

Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2009.

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