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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-01-23 07:37

Reform needs a system overhaul

The government announced on Wednesday that it intended to spend 850 billion yuan ($126.26 billion) by 2011 to establish universal health care for our country's 1.3 billion people.

It will regulate the drugs system, too. Not long ago, Minister of Health Chen Zhu said the new round of pilot medical reform would abolish the 7-15 percent of medicine price overcharged by State-run hospitals while adding a medical service fee.

Yet such measures do not sound too convincing.

First, doctors could prescribe as much medicine as they liked to get rebates from drug companies.

The medical service fee sounds helpful for it will be partly paid by the medical insurance. However, according to current relevant regulations, only those suffering major diseases are eligible for such payment support. Moreover, even those seriously ill have to pay a big amount on their own before the insurance support comes.

Additionally, there is another painful fact in this agricultural country: Most farmers do not have medical insurance. Rural migrant workers, many of whom can only find temporary jobs and travel to work from place to place, cannot benefit from the medical insurance their former employers buy for them.

In short, to carry out the medical reform, efforts must be made to resolutely overhaul the whole system.

Liao Xinbo

on blog.sina.com.cn

People-centric policy a must

Comment on "China to spend $124b on healthcare reform" (China Daily, Jan 22)

Excellent mental health is paramount to one's overall health, which should not be ignored.

For example when the earthquake disaster struck last year, those who were mentally strong helped themselves and others get through the hard time.

The government should also encourage people to emphasize mental health, which might eventually mitigate the medical burden to a great extent


on China Daily website

The key factor in successfully managing reform of the healthcare system is the government's ability to truly implement the people-oriented healthcare policy. Otherwise, any form of reform would end up with nothing.


on China Daily website

Sanlu trial sparks debate

Comment on "Court to sentence 21 tainted milk scandal defendants" (China Daily website, Jan 22)

In addition to Sanlu, will there be any legal actions against other Chinese tainted milk products producers or foreign companies involved in the scandal?

Other parties

on China Daily website

It's true Sanlu has one foreign shareholder, a New Zealand dairy company. But it is not Sanlu's controlling shareholder and was not involved in the troubling day-to-day operations of Sanlu.

If non-controlling shareholders should be punished for a company's misdeeds, then any shareholder of any listed company on the Chinese stock exchange that has illegal business could be punished for the unlawful actions of management.

If so, who would ever buy stocks in China?


on China Daily website

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(China Daily 01/23/2009 page9)