Business / Markets

New surgery insurance finds few takers

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily) Updated: 2014-04-14 07:11

Few people are choosing to take part in a new surgical insurance program that is designed to reduce medical disputes.

Beijing's You'an Hospital and Anzhen Hospital said they have seen fewer patients than expected get the insurance and more time is necessary for the plan to work.

The two hospitals are among several in the city that have introduced the surgical accident insurance programs.

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This insurance is different from the medical liability insurance program that all State-owned nonprofit hospitals in Beijing were asked to join. The medical liability insurance pays only in the event of unsatisfactory results caused by medical malpractice.

But hospitals found they are involved in an increasing number of medical disputes in which hospitals and doctors didn't do anything wrong during the treatment, yet patients still died due to surgical complications.

In such disputes, patients won't get compensation from the medical liability insurance. The surgical accident insurance program was introduced to serve as a "comfort" to these patients and their families by paying them a certain amount of money, said Yang Yu, director of the patient-doctor relationship office of You'an Hospital.

Since You'an Hospital launched the insurance program in January, about 90 patients - 10 percent of those who qualify - have bought the insurance, Yang said.

The 90 patients paid insurance premiums of more than 50,000 yuan ($8,000), and two patients' families have been paid 13,000 yuan, Yang said.

But the insurance program has not been widely accepted by patients, Yang said.

"Some patients underestimate the risks of surgery. Some don't want to pay extra. And some don't find the compensation attractive," Yang said.

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