Monday, 25 August 2014

Beijing introduces private health insurance for primary care

by Michael Woodhead
Beijing has introduced a pilot scheme of private health insurance to cover primary care services such as child health checks, maternal and perinatal care, postoperative rehabilitation and elderly care.
The service, which will be available through 23 community health centres allows those with insurance cover to tailor the type and level of services to suit their family needs.
The program is being offered online through the "Beijing General Practitioner and Family Care Reform Portal" website. The project has been set up jointly by the Beijing Medical Association and  China Life insurance
According to the BMA's Dr Wu Yonghao, Beijing residents will be able to purchase "Community Care Insurance" that will entitle them to various services provided by family doctors.
The service will also be offered as an add-on for patients who have insurance cover for procedures such as surgery, cardiac interventional procedures, orthopedic surgery and childbirth. General practitioners will provide the community care, including assessment, counselling, referrals and follow-up.
Insurance will also allow consumers to gain access to health checks, fast track referrals and personalised care.
The first of the "Family e-sites" is expected to go live in October and cover six districts of the city. By 2016 it is expected that 23 community health centres will cover all districts  of Beijing. Dr Wu said all community GPs will be qualified practitioners with at least five years experience as a specialist in the public system.
The program combines two of the National Health and Family Planning  Committee's health reform priorities: a move to private health provision and the development of primary care and community care services.

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