The State Council issued a circular on April 26 to promote medical treatment partnerships, a major step and institutional innovation in the current medical reform.
The move will optimize the structure of medical resources, improve grass-roots medical services, and provide an organized diagnosis and treatment system for patients.
According to the circular, a basic framework for treatment partnerships will be established with trials rolling out nationwide this year, and an improved policy system of treatment partnerships will be formed by 2020 based on the trials.
Medical treatment partnerships will be organized in different patterns based on local conditions, with medical groups led by top public hospitals forming in cities, and medical communities headed by county-level public hospitals in counties.
Backed up by medical institutions in different regions, inter-regional medical treatment partnerships will also be established to improve treatment of critical illnesses.
According to the circular, public hospitals are also encouraged to provide long-distance medical treatment, education, and training to rural medical institutions with the help of information technologies.
Top public hospitals can also send management and expert teams to county-level hospitals to improve local hospitals’ medical services.
In addition, efforts will be strengthened to train general practitioners, and family physician services will be promoted as part of the medical treatment partnerships.
High-quality medical resources will be allocated for medical institutions within medical treatment partnerships.
Class II medical institutions and above within the treatment partnership will dispatch professional staffers and provide medical training to local hospitals. Meanwhile, integrated information platforms regarding population health in cities, counties, and villages will be established.
According to the circular, efforts will be made to enhance infrastructure investment by the central government to improve treatment of serious diseases in regional hospitals, and medical insurance will cover more expenses for patients who receive treatment at local hospitals.
Incentives such as merit pay and job promotions will also be improved within medical treatment partnerships.
According to the circular, all provincial governments should start promoting medical treatment partnerships by the end of June, and all top public hospitals will launch treatment partnerships by the end of October.