24 Jan 2011 13:13

Hainan to double grassroots health subsidies - report

Shanghai. January 24. INTERFAX-CHINA - Hainan Provincial Government plans to double its subsidies for grassroots medical institutions from RMB 20 ($3.04) per resident to RMB 40 ($6.08) per resident under the Twelfth Five Year Plan (2011-2015), local media reported Jan. 23.

Bai Zhiqin, Hainan's health chief, was quoted in the Hainan Special Zone News as saying the province will provide a subsidy equal to 30 percent of medical institutions which are participating in nationwide pilot tests of the zero cost mark-up policy for essential drugs - commonly prescribed medicines which qualify for reimbursement under the national medical insurance scheme.

Grassroots medical institutions in China include community health centers and smaller community health clinics in urban areas, along with township and village-level clinics in rural areas. Improving grassroots medical services and increasing their role in the health care system forms an important part of China's ongoing health care reform.

One of the primary goals of China's health care reform is to reduce grassroots medical institutions' reliance on drug sales as a revenue source.

On Dec. 6, 2010, the State Council, China's cabinet, announced plans to boost subsidies for grassroots health care in 2011 as part of a raft of measures designed to stimulate grassroots health reform, Interfax reported. The average subsidy nationally for grassroots institutions stood at RMB 17.5 ($2.66) per person in 2010.

- MS