China is planning a major overhaul of its health care system which aims to provide care for 90% of the population by 2011 and for all citizens by 2020. Reuters reports:
Beijing has already announced that it will spend about 850 billion yuan ($124.4 billion) on the initial stage of the programme up to 2011, though it has yet to spell out how much of that would be new spending or disclose details of the reforms.
“By 2020, China will have a basic health care system that can provide safe, effective, convenient and affordable health services to urban and rural residents,” the official Xinhua news agency said in a synopsis of a policy document on the reforms.
“The core principle of the reform is to provide basic health care as a ‘public service’ to the people, which requires much more government funding and supervision,” it added.
More than 90 percent of the population is expected to be covered by basic medical insurance by 2011, the report said.
The reforms include plans to put at least one medical clinic in every village in China, Xinhua reports:
The government will also support the construction of 2,000 hospitals at the county level, to guarantee that each county has a hospital that meets the national standard. The three-year plan for 2009-2011 also said more township hospitals and clinics will be built or expanded in 2009.
The country will build or renovate 3,700 community clinics and 11,000 health service centers in urban areas within three years. The central government will also build 2,400 centers in underdeveloped urban areas.
See also a commentary about the health care reform blueprint by CDT guest blogger Josie Liu.