Home / Health / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Shame on Rural Medical Co-ops
Adjust font size:

Farmers are not gaining much benefit from the rural cooperative medical system, says a signed article in China Youth Daily. An excerpt follows:

Beijing News had a special report last Thursday about a couple in their thirties who committed suicide because of poverty and disease. This couple left behind a 78-year-old mother and 12-year-old son, who, like his parents, has hepatitis B.

This tragedy reveals the current situation of the rural cooperative medical system, which offers much for thought. According to the report, the cooperative medical system exists in the hometown of the deceased couple but farmers do not participate in it because it doesn't save them money. For example, it costs 10 yuan more for a common injection for a cold in the designated hospital than in a private clinic.

The price of a drug in the clinic is about half of that for the same drug in the designated hospital. The Beijing News report pointed out that the sad story has raised serious doubts about the rural cooperative medical system.

There are many similar examples. The institutional design of the cooperative medical system seems attractive since anyone can join the system for 10 yuan a year. If they do not apply for reimbursement during the year, eight yuan will automatically go toward the next year's fee. The rate of reimbursement is high, too. But in fact, the designated town hospitals are the biggest winners.

A hernia operation at the designated hospital costs nearly 3,000 yuan (US$370) and the patient has to pay half the cost. The same operation is priced at 600 yuan at the village private clinic.

The designated town hospitals tend to give unnecessary medical checkups and treatments to profit from the cooperative system.

(China Daily April 9, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- New Health Care System Essential for Social Harmony
- Rural Medical System Covers Nearly Half of Farmers
- Essential Medicine System to Benefit Rural Poor
- Political Advisor Expects Government to Reduce Rural Maternity Mortality
Most Viewed >>