A handful of local and international research and health organizations has
been charged with coming up with six different proposals for reforming the
country's healthcare system, said Deputy Health Minister Chen Xiaohong.
The State Council oversaw the creation of a team of 15 ministries to hammer
out every detail of healthcare reform, including management mechanisms and
financial inputs, Chen said.
That team entrusted six organizations, including several renowned
universities, research institutions under the State Council, international
organizations such as the World Health Organization and overseas private
agencies to put forward different proposals for healthcare reform.
Deputies to the fifth session of the 10th NPC pose with the
construction site of the Bird's Nest the main venue for the 2008 Beijng
Olympics in the background on Saturday. [China Daily]
Deputies to the fifth session of the 10th NPC pose with the construction site
of the Bird's Nest the main venue for the 2008 Beijng Olympics in the background
on Saturday. Zhou Guoqiang
"A final version of the reform policy will be unveiled after the relevant
authorities discuss and compare the schemes," Chen said.
Confronted by rocketing medical fees and discouraging doctor-patient
relations, the authorities are seeking solutions to the problems with the
country's basic medical services, insurance system and hospital management.
Health Minister Gao Qiang has predicted that the plan for healthcare reform
would be ready this year, though experts say it could take a much longer time to
formulate a plan that addresses thorny issues like financial input and
overhauling management structures.
During a discussion of the Health Ministry's handling of proposals submitted
during last year's sessions of the National People's Congress and Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Chen also said the new rural
cooperative healthcare system would cover 80 percent of China's counties within
this year and all rural areas by next year.
About 50.7 percent of the country's rural areas, or 1,451 counties, were
covered by the system at the end of last year.
Each farmer who voluntarily joins the system, which dates back to 2003, pays
10 yuan ($1.2) into a medical fund every year. State and local governments
contribute at least 20 yuan each to the fund. Farmers who participate in the
system are entitled to a refund of a proportion of the cost of any medical
treatment they receive.
Some 410 million farmers have signed up for system, accounting for 47.2
percent of the total rural population. Last year the system raised 21.36 billion
yuan, and spent 15.58 billion yuan.
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