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China Healthcare Reform
China unveiled a blueprint for health-care over the next decade, kicking off a much-anticipated reform to fix the ailing medical system and to ensure fair and affordable health services for all 1.3 billion citizens. The blueprint highlights the establishment of a basic health-care system to cover all Chinese citizens to be formed on the basis of systems of public health, medical service, medical insurance and medicine supply.
China's State Council passed a long awaited medical reform plan in 2009, which promised to spend 850 billion yuan (123 billion U.S. dollars) by 2011 to provide universal medical service to the country's 1.3 billion population. By 2020, China will have a basic health-care system that can provide "safe, effective, convenient and affordable" health services to urban and rural residents. The core principle of the reform is to provide basic health care as a "public service" to the people, which require much more government funding and supervision.
The Chinese government healthcare reform plan covers five aspects:
.Expand the coverage of medical insurance. Increase the amount of rural and urban population covered by the basic medical insurance system or the new rural cooperative medical system to at least 90 percent by 2011.
.Build a basic medicine system that includes a catalogue of drugs that mostly needed by the public.
.Improve medical service systems (especially those at the grassroots level). Build another 5,000 clinics at the township level, 2,000 hospitals at the county level and 2,400 urban community clinics in three years.
.Gradually provide equal public health services in both rural and urban areas in the country.
.Start to reform public hospitals.
The government will improve the public health network for disease prevention and control, health education, mother and infant health care, mental health and first aid services, according to the blueprint.
The reform is also aimed at improving the medicine supply system so that public hospitals and clinics are supplied with essential medicines with prices regulated by the government.
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