Further healthcare reform

( China Daily ) Updated: 2012-06-29 08:09:31

Hospitals making money by selling drugs has long been the root cause of expensive medical bills for patients and the increasingly poor healthcare service they provide. The experiment Beijing is to launch from July 1 at two hospitals will hopefully break this model and reduce the cost of healthcare services.

Beijing Chaoyang Hospital and Beijing Friendship Hospital will prescribe medicines to patients at the same price the hospitals pay for them, scrapping the 15 percent they used to add to the purchase price. But at the same time, patients will be charged for seeing doctors on the principle of higher fees for senior doctors. For example, to see an ordinary doctor, the fee will be 42 yuan ($6.60), with 40 yuan reimbursed from healthcare security accounts. But if the most senior expert is consulted, the fee will be 100 yuan, so the patient will have to pay 60 yuan after the 40 yuan reimbursement.

Beijing healthcare authorities have set specific targets to monitor the experiment, which is expected to pave the way for broader reforms.

Further healthcare reform

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