The powers that be have been deliberating Chinese medical reform since 2006. As a nation that takes it time when it comes to just about anything, this plan was well worth the wait. It comes in response to a surge of public criticism concerning soaring medical fees, a lack of access to affordable medical services, poor doctor-patient relationships and low medical insurance coverage.
According to the new plan, within three years authorities will take measures to provide basic medical security to all Chinese in urban and rural areas, improve the quality of medical services, and make medical services more accessible and affordable for ordinary people. It is expected that by 2011, 90 percent of the new cooperative medical system will be in effect. In addition, each person covered under the new system would receive an annual subsidy of 120 yuan (about $17.5 US dollars)
The Chinese medical reform plan is formidable in theory and in scope and is expected to gradually provide equal public health services in both rural and urban areas in the country. It includes a special administration to insure that the system is established and enforced as well as a catalogue of necessary drugs produced and distributed under government control from this year forward. Under this plan, all medicine would be covered by medical insurance.
Beginning this year, the Chinese government will also be launching a pilot program with the intention of reforming public hospitals in order to improve the quality of the service they provide. Innovations and reforms can be expected in terms of their administration, operation and supervision.
Hey, China, you get an ‘A’ for effort.
Here’s hoping you graduate!