Copyright 2024 - Ningbo Life / Ningbo Expat

Pilot public hospital reform kicks off

Ningbo kicks off a pilot reform in its 24 public hospitals today. The move will prohibit public hospitals from making profit from drug sales.

The pilot program involved 24 government-run hospitals in Ningbo as well as its five sub-cities including Cixi, fenghua, Yuyao, Xiangshan, and Ninghai.

The reform means public hospitals will return to its nature of serving the public rather than making money. Wang Renyuan, director of Municipal Health Bureau, said the involved 24 public hospitals will not be allowed to make profit from drug prescriptions, which means all the drugs, except traditional herbal medicine, are to be sold at government controlled prices. Another measure scheduled for trial is that the hospitals are required to fix a drug catalogue to ensure that the proportion of essential drugs and health care drugs in prescription. This will effectively curb the practice of hospitals' relying on drug sales for income and thus establish a reasonable, effective and optimized medical service system.

It is estimated that the move will cause 20 percent, or 370 million yuan income loss to the public hospitals. The economic losses will be compensated for by a rational increase of medical care service fee, including surgical fees, treatment fees, care fees, consultation fees, examination fees, and ward bed fees. However, the increase rate should be lower than the markups it charges on drugs and should be covered by medical insurance for employees, medical insurance for urban residents and the new rural cooperative medical insurance.

Insiders believe the reform will ease the public complaint of soaring medical bills and stop public hospitals from operating with profits from drug sales. Besides, the adjustment of medical service will better represents the value of physicians' work and help to improve the quality of medical care.

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