China has announced a pilot program for the reform of public hospitals. Among the targets of the plan is hospital infrastructure. Over the next three years, the government will fund the construction of 2,000 hospitals in the country’s 1,600 counties in an effort to allocate more resources to rural health care. The plan will also subsidize the purchase of hospital equipment, training for doctors and research. Health Minister Chen Zhu said that hospitals with a focus on epidemic diseases, vocational diseases, psychiatry, traditional Chinese medicine, maternity and pediatrics would be favored. The plan also seeks to reduce hospitals’ sales of drugs and to reduce other fees they charge. Public hospitals rely primarily on such fees due to insufficient government funding. Government spending represents about 17% of healthcare spending in China. The plan is part of a larger effort by China to provide universal health care for its citizens and to reduce waste and inefficiency in its healthcare system.

Source: China Daily

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