4 Feb 2010 09:43

China's medical expenditure hits $236 bln in 2009

Shanghai. February 4. INTERFAX-CHINA - China recorded total medical expenditure of RMB 1.61 trillion ($235.87 billion) in 2009, up 10.9 percent from 2008, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced on Feb. 3.

According to the announcement, the total medical expenditure accounted for 4.96 percent of China's gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

Outpatient visits stood at 3.6 billion in 2009, marking an increase of 70 million from 2008. Likewise, inpatient visits saw an increase of 11.17 million from 2008 to stand at 126 million.

China's per capita medical expenditure averaged RMB 1,192.20 ($174.55) in 2009, up RMB 98 ($14.35) from 2008. Specifically, average outpatient medical expenditure per visit increased 5.1 percent year-on-year to become RMB 154 ($22.55) while average inpatient medical expenditure per visit rose 5.7 percent from 2008 to RMB 5,775.50 ($845.61) in 2009.

In the first 11 months of last year, the central government allocated a total of RMB 20 billion ($2.93 billion) towards the expansion and upgrading of grassroots medical institutions.

Last year, urban grassroots medical institutions, comprising of urban community health centers and clinics, saw 200 million outpatient visits and 1.21 million inpatient visits, representing a 14.5 percent and 17.4 percent increase year-on-year respectively.