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Notice on strengthening healthcare practice investigation and treatment

Updated: Jun 17,2014 11:19 AM

Discipline Inspection Group’s Supervision Bureau at NHFPC No 1, 2014

Discipline inspection group at health and family planning commissions in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government; Discipline inspection group and Supervision and Inspection Group of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps; departments of the National Health and Family Planning Commission; departments of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine; and other units under the leadership of the NHFPC:

To further implement the spirit of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, bring to justice bad practices in the medical and health care system that impair public interests, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the public, and promote the development of health care reform, we put forward the following requirements to strengthen health care practice investigation and treatment:

1. Put clear and strict disciplines into practice, and seriously deal with bad practices impairing the public interests with zero tolerance

Combating bad medical and health care practice plays an important role in protecting the legitimate rights and interests of the public, strengthening health care team building, and promoting the development of health care reform. Health and family planning departments, as well as medical institutions at all levels, should fight against bad practices and strengthen necessary skills in this regard. The supervisory organizations in the health and family planning department should earnestly shift functions, transfer work method and style, strengthen supervision of bad practice investigation, and seriously combat bad practices that damage public interests with zero tolerance.

Work should be done to strengthen the construction of good medical and health care practice. Nine bad practices should be prohibited, such as encouraging prescription and medical examination to raise the salary of medical staff, making unwarranted medical charges, taking unwarranted social donations, participating in illegal medical promotions and advertising activities, making illegal medical product procurements, and taking medical kickbacks. Any individual or institution that violates the regulation will be punished without leniency.

Bad practices will face serious punishment in accordance with the relevant law. Superior administrative departments should report medical and health institutions that break the law, urge them to rectify any violation, and deal out punishment, such as downgrading, giving warning or revoking its license. Misbehaving medical staff should receive education and be punished by being suspended, moved downward or disqualified for any awards or contract renewal. For serious violations, superior health and family planning administrative departments should force the violating party to suspend or close business or revoke its license in accordance with the law. The corresponding discipline inspection department should deal out punishment if it needs, or offer advice to relevant departments to do so in accordance with leadership management jurisdiction. Criminal cases should be handed over to the justice department without hesitation.

Insist on early medical treatment and never neglect small problems for patients

Be responsible for medical and health care work, focus on medical officials’ ideas, work and life, make early discovery of bad practices, give early warning, correction and investigation, nip problems in the bud, and give monitory talks to prevent small problems from deteriorating.

2. Implement case report and exposure mechanism to give monitoring education and deterrence

Health and family planning, as well as medical, departments at all levels should report investigation cases locally. The provincial health and family planning department should report suspended medical staff across the province. The National Health and Family Planning Commission should expose medical staff with revoked licenses nationwide. Detailed information on medical code violations or illegal practices will be exposed, including the violator’s name, to give deterrence. Bad practices that cause strong social response or media attention will be promptly investigated, and results will be released to the public.

3. Establish or improve case investigation system to make strict work procedures and disciplines

Improve clue collection and public opinion analysis mechanisms and broaden clue collecting channels through setting up public informants’ hot line, online and offline complaints mailboxes. Improve clue treatment mechanism, carefully register clues on bad practice and conduct central management. Follow central discipline commission’s standards to handle clues, such as planning to make a case, giving preliminary review on clues, temporarily keeping them, and putting them on file.

Insist on and improve clue screening system, conduct group study on clues in hand, avoid concealing cases and autocracy in decision making. Build or improve case reporting system. The supervisory bodies at health and family planning departments at various levels should report treatment and case investigations not only to the Party at the same level but also superior supervisory departments. General cases can be reported on a quarterly basis, while major cases should be reported immediately at any time.

During case investigation, deposition work should be strengthened to get mutually corroborated evidence and form an intact and stable clue chain; implement responsibility system; strengthen checks and balances between discipline inspection and supervision departments; and find out main violations and deal out punishment in accordance with the Party discipline. Criminal cases will be promptly handed over to the justice department; follow strict case investigation discipline, abide by case working procedure and confidentiality, and insist on handling cases in a lawful, safe and civil way.

4. Strengthen coordination and cooperation to form a joint force in case handling

Health, family planning and medical departments at various levels should establish or improve internal coordination mechanisms for case handling, and clarify the division of labor and responsibilities among discipline inspection, medical administration, comprehensive supervision, financial audit and drug administration departments. The departments should clarify leading and assisting departments for every type of case, and build up a working mechanism featuring individual responsibility and overall coordination. The departments should strengthen coordination and cooperation between health and family planning administration departments and discipline inspection, public security, and industry and commerce departments. They should establish or improve information sharing, case transfer and work coordination mechanisms to pool forces. They should strengthen work guidance to subordinate units regarding case handling and give more help and guidance to areas or units that haven’t dealt with cases for a long time to improve their work.

5. Improve responsibility system and hold everyone accountable

Investigating and handling medical and health care practices is a responsibility shared by health and family planning departments, medical units, and discipline inspection and supervision bodies at health and family planning departments at all levels. The medical unit is responsible for its internal departments and staff. Health and family planning departments and their internal departments are responsible for handling bad practices among medical units and their leadership under their jurisdiction. Discipline inspection and supervision bodies at health and family planning departments are responsible for handling major influential or typical bad practices. They are also responsible for supervising health and the family planning department and its internal institutions, as well as medical units, and holding everyone accountable for malpractice.

Regions and units at various levels should formulate specific accountability methods by clarifying individual responsibility, building a chain of monitoring, inspecting, investigating, and holding irresponsible personnel accountable. Not only directly responsible leader as well as heads of the department in question will be punished where supervisory units that are a breeding ground for bad practices,. Discipline inspection and supervision bodies will also be held accountable if they fail to establish enough supervision or bring malpractice to justice.

6. Strengthen education and training to raise case handling abilities

Discipline inspection and supervision officials should live up to their responsibility and strengthen studies of policy, regulation and other professional skills. Inspection and supervision bodies should enhance education and training for its staff. The Central Discipline Inspection Group’s Supervision Bureau at NHFPC will carry out professional training for inspection and supervision officials at all levels and the secretary of discipline inspection commissions at national third-level medical institutions. Discipline inspection commissions at health and family planning departments at all levels should also take steps to conduct training to raise case handling abilities. In the meantime, they should conduct strict supervision and management of discipline inspection officials, improve internal supervisory mechanisms, and voluntarily be subjected to supervision from the Party, the public and the press, transforming itself into a well-disciplined team.

If any problems occur in implementing this Notice, please report them to the Central Discipline Inspection Group’s Supervision Bureau at the NHFPC.

Central Discipline Inspection Group’s Supervision Bureau at NHFPC

March 19, 2014