CRI News Report:China Takes Concrete Measures to... 简介：Download MP3 Audio 把音频贴到我的博客(Qzone)或BBS 关闭MP3地址:音频页面地址:China Takes Concrete Measures to Improve Basic Medical CareChina has decid…
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China Takes Concrete Measures to Improve Basic Medical Care
China has decided to expand coverage of its basic medical insurance and increase the governments' related subsidies to support the country's poor residents.
While applauding the moves, some researchers argue that China should pay more attention to improving the quality of the basic medical care at the community level.
Meanwhile, others call for commercial medical insurance to play a proper role in satisfying people's diversified needs. Damin has the details.
China's State Council has issued a guideline urging governments at all levels to increase the subsidy on urban and rural basic medical insurance to 120 yuan, or about 18 U.S. dollars, per person per year. That's an increase from 80 yuan per person per year previously.
The cabinet's guideline also states that basic medical insurance will be expanded to cover 410 million urban residents.
Moreover, the country will increase reimbursement for insured urban and rural residents to at least 60 percent of inpatient expenditures.
Hubert Stueker is a medical insurance expert with the EU-China Social Security Reform Cooperation Project.
"It is very important that the population in China get more access to the services, which means the benefit package has to be increased lightly. I really think it is very good that the contribution and subsidize for poor in urban areas and the countryside."
China's basic medical insurance system includes three schemes; namely, urban workers' medical insurance, rural medical insurance and urban residents' medical insurance.
Farmers and poor urban citizens usually use the latter two schemes and thus pay lower premiums. As a result, the government has set very low reimbursement rates for the two groups.
Stueker adds that in addition to coverage and reimbursement rates, the quality of basic medical care also matters.
"I think China is on the right way. But they need to intensify this and invest more in this area and need to increase quality of health care services."
The expert notes that many Chinese patients tend to see doctors at big hospitals, even when suffering colds and other mild illnesses. He points out that the government should take steps to improve the quality of service in community clinics and deliver qualified medical care within communities.
Mi Hong, a researcher from Zhejiang University, says China should also introduce commercial insurance to supplement the basic medical insurance system.
"Only increasing reimbursements for basic medical insurance still cannot ensure some special group's medical needs are met. But the commercial medical insurance can do this. Insurers can provide insurance against a particular disease after conducting detailed medical analysis on an insurance buyer. So commercial insurance can better meet personalized medical insurance needs."
The basic medical insurance is part of China's preliminary social security system, which also includes pensions, unemployment benefits and other benefits.
Last year alone, the central government allocated nearly 130 billion yuan to China's medical sector, an increase of 50 percent year-on-year.