Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Health minister Chen Zhu aims for 70% medical cost reimbursement

China's Health Minister Chen Zhu has set out a goal to reimburse 70 percent of the patients' medical costs by 2015.

"In order to achieve this goal, we need to limit the use of drugs and treatment methods that are not on the list of essential medicines, this is the only way to make sure medical costs are not too expensive to the public."

The current medical coverage offered to Chinese patients stands at about 50 percent.

Chen says China's health authorities will increase the essential drug list soon by 70 percent to ensure their availability at all times.

The health ministry will also increase the amount of reimbursement for patients who go to nearby clinics. 

This is to discourage them from opting for larger hospitals for minor ailments.

"Community level clinics will be equipped with drugs on the essential medicine list. In mid-sized hospitals those essential drugs will account for 40 to 50 percent of the druge usage. As in large hospitals the percentage should be at 25 to 30. We will issue regulations to strengthen our supervision of doctors' prescription."

Health care fees, medical checkups and nursing for the elderly are also set to be included in expanded medical insurance.
Source: CRI

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