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Beijing increases funding for hospitals

By Shan Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-12 07:27

New programs subsidized; government to keep lid on healthcare cost increases

China has been increasing financial support for the healthcare sector to guarantee all citizens affordable and proper medical services, according to senior finance and health officials.

The central government has earmarked more than 1.4 trillion yuan ($205 billion) this year for healthcare, Song Qichao, deputy director of the Ministry of Finance's Social Security Department, said at a joint news conference on Thursday with the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

That accounts for 7.2 percent of government expenditures, he said, up from about 5 percent in 2008.

"We see healthcare as an important sector that affects people's livelihoods, and we will continue to increase financial support," Song said.

The latest round of changes is a continuation of nationwide healthcare reforms that started in 2009 to eliminate irregularities, particularly in drug distribution and pricing, and to ensure public access to proper and affordable medical services.

The government investment has helped the country achieve universal healthcare by extending health insurance policies to the rural population and urban unemployed, who previously had no coverage at all.

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