13 Jan 2010 09:42

Shenzhen to inject $2.9 bln into health care reform

Shanghai. January 13. INTERFAX-CHINA - The Shenzhen government, at the municipal and district levels, will invest a total of RMB 19.6 billion ($2.87 billion) from 2009 to 2011 towards health care reform, Shenzhen Municipal Government announced on Jan. 13.

According to the announcement, Shenzhen aims to cover all its residents under the basic medical insurance program by 2011. In 2010, Shenzhen will provide a one-time subsidy of RMB 200 ($29.28) to every resident participating in the basic medical insurance program to help residents with insurance premium payments. The central government stipulates that local governments must provide a minimum annual subsidy of RMB 120 ($17.57) per resident.

The Shenzhen government also plans to provide reimbursements of no less than 90 percent of medical expenses for residents seeking inpatient medical treatment this year. To reach this goal, medical institutions in Shenzhen are required to use products that are domestically-produced when medical products, including invasive medical devices, cost more than RMB 1,000 ($146.41).

About RMB 9.10 billion ($1.33 billion) will be used in the set up of new hospitals in the city, the announcement said. At present, there are 10 large hospitals being set up with construction expected to finish in two to three years.

"Shenzhen will have sufficient medical resources over the next 20 years," Jiang Hanping, director of the Shenzhen Municipal Health, Population and Family Planning Commission, was quoted as saying in a Southern Metropolitan News report on Jan. 13.

Shenzhen will spend about RMB 900 million ($131.07 million) each year on public health services including hepatitis B immunizations for children below 15 years old, measles immunizations for children below 14 years old and periodic health checks for the elderly aged 65 years old and above. The national health care reform plan stipulates that average public health expenses per person must be no less than RMB 20 ($2.93) by 2011 while the number will stand at RMB 50 ($7.32) in Shenzhen, the announcement said.

In addition, the Shenzhen municipal and district governments will provide a total of about RMB 100 million ($14.64 million) in subsidies to grassroots medical institutions from this year onwards since the national essential drug system will be implemented, along with the removal of the 15 percent cost-plus markup on drug prices.

According to Jiang, Shenzhen will be among the cities to launch the trial public hospital reform in China. At present, Peking University Shenzhen Hospital has been selected to participate in the trial reform. Jiang added that a performance-based appraisal system for doctors will be implemented in Binhai Hospital, which is currently under construction and will be the largest hospital in Shenzhen upon completion of construction.

- KZ