China to further promote public hospital reform, development

china en celac

BEIJING – China will further promote the reform and high-quality development of public hospitals as part of the efforts to deepen its healthcare reform, according to a list of healthcare reform tasks for 2024 recently released.

The document, released by the General Office of the State Council, encourages local governments to learn from the successful healthcare reform practices implemented in Sanming, a city in Fujian Province.

Sanming started to reform its public hospitals in 2012 to address the overpricing of drugs and medical consumables, and the overuse of medication and tests in healthcare services, which led to expensive medical care services and a heavy burden for local medical insurance funds.

The document calls for a deepened reform of the payment system at public hospitals, stating that medical workers’ income should be stable and must not be linked to bills for drugs, medical materials, examinations and tests.

According to the document, China will promote the national centralized volume-based procurement of drugs and medical consumables and adjust the pricing of medical services. Since 2018, China has conducted nine rounds of volume-based procurement bids for medication and several bids for medical consumables such as coronary stents, artificial joints, and intraocular lenses.

The country will improve its medical service system, including enhancing health service capacity at the primary level, and establish a multi-tiered healthcare insurance system with efforts to both improve the basic health insurance system and promote commercial health insurance.

China will also deepen reform regarding drug use and management, the mechanism of drug evaluation and approval, and the supply of drugs, according to the document. (Xinhua)…[+]