Keep an eye on private hospitals

Updated: 2012-03-05 08:10

(China Daily)

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Comment on "Policy injects life into private hospitals" (China Daily, Feb 27)

It's good news that the government has finally allowed private hospitals to be fully funded by foreign medical companies. But the government must keep close supervision on the quality of medical services provided by these foreign companies.

I think that the standard of China's healthcare system can be raised through the new policy as it will attract a lot of experienced and knowledgeable doctors from around the world to settle in China. They will likely establish private hospitals, but even so there will be knowledge exchanges with local doctors, so the policy will enhance the quality of Chinese doctors and thus the healthcare system in the long run.

However, we should not ignore the possibility that some of the foreign companies will just be seeking to make money and may not provide a satisfactory service to patients. Imagine an impoverished and injured person entering a private hospital for emergency treatment, will he or she be helped immediately or sent to a public hospital? And who will be responsible for handling any complaints that may arise?

The government must also keep a close eye on the fees charged by these hospitals to make sure that patients are not being over-charged.

However, if closely watched, private hospitals will benefit the country's healthcare system in the long term.

Dennis Lee Ying Hui, via e-mail

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(China Daily 03/05/2012 page10)