Six proposals in focus for medical reforms

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 March, 2007, 12:00am

China's policymakers will be presented with six proposals from international and domestic experts on how to reform its tainted and inefficient medical system late next month, according to a mainland media report yesterday.

The six would come from the World Bank, the World Health Organisation, the State Council's Development Research Centre, Peking University, Fudan University and international consultants McKinsey & Co, the 21st Century Business Herald said, citing unnamed sources from the central government's medical reform co-ordinating committee that comprised 14 ministries and cabinet-level departments including the health ministry and the top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission.

Beijing is facing mounting pressure to reform a sector that is laced with irregularities that have made health care inaccessible and unaffordable to the masses.

The report said that by commissioning independent research, top authorities hoped to solicit various concepts that could ensure scientific and reasonable proposals.

Of the proposals, the World Bank plan suggests five main areas for Beijing to focus on - mass accessibility, financial support, guaranteed services for the poor, a strengthened supervisory framework and stringent safety standards, and greater private investments in the sector.

The newspaper did not detail the other proposals, but said the co-ordinating committee's work would be split into four main areas.

The health ministry and reform commission will look into health management and implementing services; the reform commission and finance ministry will focus on fund-raising and investment; the labour and social security, and health ministries will review health insurance mechanisms; and the reform commission and the State Food and Drug Administration will look into circulation of drugs.