Monday, 21 March 2016

Five healthcare stories making the headlines in China this week

At least two million doses of spoiled vaccine have been traded by rogue wholesalers based in Jinan Shandong. Health authorities in the province say they are trying to track down the vaccines, which were sold by a mother and daughter criminal gang despite being past their expiry date or having failed cold chain storage and handling procedures. The vaccines, worth at least half a million yuan, were for conditions such as influenza, hepatitis B, and were sold to many provinces including Hubei, Anhui, Guangdong, Henan, and Sichuan. The scandal is seen as a major failure of provincial and national drug regulatory authorities.

The first vaccine against hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) caused by enterovirus 71 (EV71), has been launched by a Chinese company. The Institute of Medical Biology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, says the China FDA approved the production of the vaccine in December, 2015.

A new national survey has found poor morale among China's doctors, with 87% saying they would not want their children to enter the medical profession. The survey of doctors in 31 areas found that 80%of doctors believed the fees and remuneration were far too low, and wanted them raised to reflect their true value. About two thirds of doctors believed they were overloaded at work, and only 34% felt they got sufficient sleep.  

At the NPC Premier Li Keqiang says one of his priorities is to achieve national portability of medical insurance schemes at a faster pace. He also plans to cut red tape to make it easier for retired people to claim medical insurance benefits away from their hometown and for aged care homes to offer medical services. Meanwhile. health minister Li Bin said her priorities were to cut out hospital ticket scalpers and to have a phased and orderly introduction of the Two Child Policy.

Hong Kong's largest chain of private health clinics, Human Health Holdings Ltd says it plans to open clinics on the mainland. The company is offering shares and says it plans to use the revenue to open clinics in China's major cities over the next three years. It partnered with China Ping An Insurance Holdings to open its first clinic in Shanghai last year.

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