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Ministry to Work Out New Medical Reform Scheme

The Health Ministry is working on a new medicare reform program to provide basic medical service for the public.

This indicates that China will abandon the five-year medicare reform which led to public complaints of too expensive medical cost.

In 2000, China started its medicare reform, which divided all medical organs into two kinds: the profmedicalitable and unprofitable, according to a proposal jointly issued by eight central government ministries and commissions.

The reform has aroused much concern from both the localities and the central government.

Last week, a report released by the Development and Research Center of the State Council claimed that China's medical reform has so far been an unsuccessful one because it has increased the charges paid by patients to an unbearable level that some patients dare not go to hospital when they fall ill, China Youth Daily said.

"There is no timetable for the new medicare reform program," Wednesday's China Youth Daily quoted an information official with the Health ministry as saying.

Liu Xinming, an official in charge of policy-making in the Health Ministry, attributed current expensive medical cost to the lack of social fairness and low efficiency in medical resources deployment in China.

To solve the two problems, he said, the government should be mainly responsible. Government-run hospitals and non-governmental non-profit hospitals should play the key role in China's health service system.

(Xinhua News Agency August 4, 2005)

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