Three years on: China's medical reform

Source:CNTV Published: 2013-3-14 10:58:30

China introduced a health care system reform three years ago in 2009. The reform is aimed at making health care affordable and accessible for all Chinese citizens by 2020. CCTV reporter Nie Jia takes a look at the progress of the reform over the last three years.

A new batch of medicine arrives. With sensors, the computer scans and records all the information about the drugs. This also goes back to the supplier via the internet to make sure the order is correct. As part of a pilot scheme, this is how this health clinic in a small township in Sichuan province now operates.

Luo Wei, Head of Health Clinic in Xing Yi Township, said, "By using computers, we streamline our processes and reduce waiting times for patients - from registering, to checking up, to prescriptions, everything can be done over the internet."

The new computer system also monitors medical practices. The local health bureau has designated on-line supervisors to monitor drug use, medicine prices, and every single prescription made by doctors. This has led to more transparency between the hospitals and drug companies, and the benefits are already being felt.

Yang Yubin, Patient, said, "I’m seeing the doctor for my cold. In the past, it would normally cost 20 yuan, now, it only costs 7 yuan."

Separating clinics from pharmacies is just one part of China’s medical reform efforts. In major cities like Beijing, hospitals are also forming alliances to make medical care more accessible. Xu Jianli, president of the Beijing Shijitan Hospital, says the alliance is crucial to reducing the waste of limited medical resources.

Xu Jianli, President of Beijing Shijitan Hospital, said, “Many people with chronic conditions choose to consult our doctors instead of going to smaller institutions, leading to a waste of medical resources. This is not good. The alliance involves two hospitals and eight community healthcare centers in Beijing. We can transfer our patients with chronic conditions to the community clinics for rehabilitation, and patients with critical conditions can come to the larger hospitals, making full use of the medical resources of top level hospitals.”

Jia Lihong suffered a stroke and is receiving treatment in Shijitan Hospital.

Jia Lihong, Patient, said, "I’ll be in this hospital for two weeks, and after that I’ll attend rehab sessions at a community clinic near my home. It’s very convenient."

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