The State Council issued guidance on healthcare reform for this year with measures to expand reform at public hospitals, advancing a tiered medical treatment system and promoting the transparency of drug prices at the executive meeting on April 6.
The executive meeting decided to increase the number of cities that will launch healthcare reform on public hospitals from 100 to 200 and expand the reform to public hospitals at the county level.
It also plans to test the tiered medical treatment system in 70 percent of prefecture-level cities across the country, where doctors at public hospitals will be encouraged to carry out work at grassroots medical institutions or open up pilot health clinics.
Wang Fufeng, director of the research center for healthcare reform at Renmin University of China, said that the comprehensive reform of public hospitals and advancing the tiered medical treatment system, as the key to this year’s healthcare reform, can benefit ordinary people.
Wang also said advancing the tiered medical treatment system indicates that healthcare reform in China has entered a new stage, from focusing on establishing and improving the medical insurance system to the distribution of medical resources and quality of medical services.
While he stressed that advancing the system should not copy that of foreign countries, the tiered medical treatment system should take into consideration national and local conditions, as well as acceptance by ordinary people.
The executive meeting also decided to promote the centralized purchasing of drugs for public hospitals and establish a mechanism to trace the factory price of drugs as well as take measures to make transparent any price markups in the process of circulation.
Meanwhile, the meeting urged establishing a reserve system for high-demand and low-supply drugs and increasing the free supply of special drugs for diseases such as AIDS.