Medical system still favors public sector Published: 2013-10-29 21:13:01

Public attention on China's healthcare reform has been growing. While disagreeing on specifics, people generally see the need to make healthcare more widely available.

This means more medical facilities, higher efficiency and better allocation of resources. We need more, and better, hospitals.

Private hospitals and clinics are seen as one solution. Guidelines released by the State Council this month, which set out the government's aim to develop the healthcare industry, make this clear.

With the help of the central government's loose policy and local governments' accommodating regulations, there are now more than 10,000 private hospitals in operation, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of the total number of hospitals. Yet these hospitals treat fewer than 10 percent of patients. Their impact on the market is minimal.

This problem will not be solved as long as resources remain concentrated in the public system, and it continues to be treated as the star of China's healthcare structure. In this environment, private capital simply cannot compete and help raise overall industry standards.

Based on an editorial from

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