31 Jul 2009 12:20

Shenzhen to make headway in public hospital reform

Shanghai. July 31. INTERFAX-CHINA - Shenzhen City in southern China's Guangdong Province plans to prioritize public hospital reform on its health care reform agenda from 2009 to 2011, the Shenzhen municipal government announced on July 31.

According to the announcement, the municipal government approved the city's health care reform plan on July 30, which places emphasis on the public hospital reform.

In Shenzhen's public hospital reform, health authorities will not be directly involved in the operations of public hospitals and will eventually transfer the management of hospitals to hospital management agencies, new government authorities that are not affiliated to health authorities.

Public hospitals will hold legal person status and will be in charge of their own specific day-to-day running, as supervised by a committee of employees and representatives of health authorities, the announcement said.

In addition, health authorities will strengthen supervision over public hospitals by way of setting up a sound supervision infrastructure to guarantee medical treatment quality and incorporating a hospital performance appraisal system that will shut down hospitals that do not meet standards.

According to the announcement, Shenzhen will encourage small-sized public hospitals to share resources as well as private investors to set up hospitals or assist in the reorganization of public hospitals.

"Shenzhen is focusing on the public hospital reform because it is an economically-developed city, having the financial capability to conduct relevant reforms in hospital management and drug price markups," Lian Leyao, a pharmaceutical analyst from Minsheng Securities, told Interfax on July 31.

Lian added that since government agencies at the national level have not yet reached an agreement on how the public hospital reform is to be implemented, the public hospital reform will likely be conducted differently across regions. Shenzhen's public hospital reform is not likely to be replicated in other regions, especially in underdeveloped regions.