Medical burden still heavy for Chinese
Updated: 2014-12-10 13:14
BEIJING -- Medical reform fiscal measures have lined the pockets of hospitals and companies but not done much toward advancing the country's healthcare system, experts said on Wednesday.
Since restructuring measures began in 2009, medical spending has increased by more than 20 percent annually.
The central government has earmarked another increase for personal healthcare for 2015, which will provide urban and rural citizens with 360 yuan ($58.90) of coverage, according to the government's five-year plan.
Yet, despite financial injections from the government, it is far from enough to cover the medical needs of many citizens, according to a medical reform bluebook released Tuesday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the Social Sciences Academic Press.
"That is why the public continue to complain about the cost of medical care," said Wen Xueguo, from CASS, adding that price fluctuations had little impact on medial bills.
"Most of the fiscal expenditure has been squandered, as it has flowed to hospitals and pharmaceutical companies," Wen said, adding that doctors and drugmakers' incomes had greatly increased, but the quality of the healthcare service had not improved.
The much-criticized system of hospitals' reliance on drug sales has not fundamentally changed, he said, adding that addressing the growth of the price of medication would be key.
The bluebook suggests the government allow hospitals to negotiate prices when purchasing drugs and abolish any control over prices in order to lower drug prices and prevent commercial bribery.