China / Society

Guidelines for county-level hospital reform published

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-04 22:37

BEIJING - China will push forward reform in more county-level hospitals this year amid a broader scale overhaul of its health care system launched in 2009.

According to a set of government guidelines released on Friday, medical reform will be expanded from 311 county-level public hospitals to more than 1,000 this year, covering 50 percent of Chinese counties.

Authorities will ensure the optimal distribution of medical resources, establish a scientific subsidy mechanism, and regulate the price of drugs and medical services, according to the guidelines, which were jointly released by five government organs including the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC).

A NHFPC spokesman said in a written interview that the reform also aims to improve public hospitals' management, and set up a payroll and human resources system that suits the medical sector.

Doctor-patient conflicts are common in China's public hospitals, which provide 90 percent of the country's medical services.

Patients often complain of high bills and poor quality services. Doctors complain of heavy stress and low salaries. Doctors often over-prescribe to make profits for public hospitals and obtain bonuses.

Full scale reform of the health care system got underway in 2009. Pilot projects for public hospital reform were a priority, along with a basic medical security system, improvement at grass roots level and equal access to basic public health services.

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