Gov't finds 2 bln yuan for health care

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, July 29, 2010
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Rural residents in the Beijing area will get more subsidies in their medical welfare packages after the municipal government made the biggest increase in funding for health care in recent years.

The Beijing Health Bureau said in a statement on Wednesday that the funding for each rural resident will rise to 520 yuan from 320 yuan.

The change will cost the government nearly 2 billion yuan and ensure the medical needs of the 3 million rural residents around the capital will be better met.

In the past, the government had allocated 910 million yuan for the subsidies.

The bureau, which also launched major medical reform in Beijing in April, also said that the ratio of rural residents covered under the new medical reform package has increased from 93 percent to nearly 97 percent this year.

This means treatment fees for most minor diseases and some major diseases, including leukemia and heart problems, will be covered by the government for those residents.

The ceiling for government funding for a major disease is 170,000 yuan, the bureau said.

The bureau has also found 2.6 billion yuan this year to help reduce the cost of medicine and make treatment more accessible to the public.

Soaring medicine prices and the illegal sale of fake drugs have been major problems for Beijingers and the bureau said it will launch a drug purchase platform to ensure regulation of drug sales in the capital.

"The same medicine will have the same price citywide," the bureau said in its statement.

The bureau said it has enlisted more than 1,500 products for 519 types of frequently-used medicine and will include more than 190 new ones later this year.

Beijing municipal government has launched a price cut in hospitals and medical stores citywide since March. Some drugs are now more than 30 percent cheaper than they were before the initiative.

In addition, hospitals in Beijing have stepped up their services with a new move that will allow patients to print out laboratory reports from home.

The Peking University Third Hospital is piloting the service, which allows patients to receive notification messages from the hospital before they can download the reports from the hospital's website using a serial number.

If successful, the new services will be available in all major hospitals in the capital.

Fang Laiying, director of the health bureau, said a roadmap for medical reform in Beijing is under revision.

Better performing community hospitals will be encouraged and major medical departments and hospitals will be established later this year as part of the medical reform package in the capital.

"We will set up a medical reform committee to supervise the overall reform outcome," Fang said in the statement.

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