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China Daily Website

Treatment first, payment later

Updated: 2013-02-21 19:39
( China Daily)

There are suggestions the “treatment before payment” model may be rolled-out to more places, according to an article in the 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the “treatment first, payment later” system is only a pilot project in some places, it is not compulsory national practice as recently reported by some media.

If the system can be realized, it will solve problems for many poor families requiring medical treatment, because hospitals would not be able to refuse patients because they don’t have enough money.

Although China has built a national medical care insurance network and carried out several rounds of medical care reforms, seeing a doctor is still expensive for many Chinese families, and good hospitals are concentrated in a few big cities.

The pricing system for medicine also has its problems with too many loopholes allowing medicine salesmen to bribe doctors with huge kickbacks.

Insurance money is paid directly to the hospital by the State insurance fund to cover a certain proportion of patients’ medical treatment. As long as the patient is covered with medical care insurance, the public hospitals should provide timely treatment according to the their insurance status. The hospitals will not lose money and it will be more convenient for patients. This is only a procedural change.