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New healthcare pricing policy has positive results

By Shan Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-09 07:32

New healthcare pricing policy has positive results

A patient is given her physical checkup results at a community medical service center in Beijing in April, after a comprehensive medical reform started in the capital.[Photo by Luo Xiaoguang/Xinhua]

Cost of drugs eases; patients shift toward community clinics for care

A move to scrap drug price markups has shown early signs of success in optimizing medical resources - particularly the work of specialists - and in lowering the costs of medicine for most patients, according to the Beijing health authority.

As part of the general healthcare reform, measures introduced on April 8 aimed at ending the markup on drugs prescribed at public hospitals and modifying the prices for registration, consultation and treatments.

The average drug cost for each outpatient visit during the past month has decreased by 9.6 percent compared with March, the Beijing Health and Family Planning Commission said.

For inpatient care, the average drug cost for each hospitalization has fallen by nearly 18 percent, while the entire cost dropped by 4.1 percent compared with March.

Fang Laiying, head of the commission, said the latest measures worked well to provide better and more rational treatment at more affordable prices.

Under a hierarchical medical system, he said, patients with minor diseases visit community clinics. Only the seriously ill go to large hospitals for specialist care.

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