Ministers Taken to Task Over Healthcare Reforms
China Daily reports on the state of medical reform:
China’s top health officials were grilled on Friday over why the ongoing healthcare reform has failed to substantially ease the difficulties facing the public in seeking accessible and affordable medical care.
Given that State-owned hospitals now deliver more than 90 percent of medical services in the country, harsh questions focusing on reform of public hospitals abounded while the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) conducted an inquiry into the medical reform.
For instance, an appointment with an expert pediatrician alone costs 1,200 yuan ($180) at a top public hospital in Beijing and together with a bill for medical treatment could amount to 10,000 yuan for a single day, said Cheng Jinpei, a member of the NPC Standing Committee. And he asked why.
“The problem of difficult access to affordable medical care for people has existed for a long time, particularly at quality public hospitals, and I’ve also experienced that personally,” Vice-Minister of Health Zhang Mao admitted at the inquiry.