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July 24, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

City-level hospitals to discard VIP beds

SHANGHAI'S city-level hospitals, the highest among the three-scale hospital system, will discard their VIP beds by 2015 and focus solely on basic health care needs.

The high-end medical service will be concentrated at two new international medical centers, local health officials announced yesterday.

The Pudong International Medical Center and the New Hongqiao International Medical Center, both of which will include several specialized hospitals, are under construction and will start operation before 2015.

The centers will tie-up with world leading hospitals and overseas medical groups, and along with local state-owned hospitals will provide the necessary health service and advanced health care management to meet the demand of the high-end market.

"The health sector reform is to classify the market and meet the different demands of the people," said Xu Su, head of Shanghai's health reform office.

"State-owned hospitals will only offer basic and non-profitable service, while the joint ventures and private hospitals, which offer better service and cost more, will target the high-end market.

"Social capitals are encouraged to take part in the health market," Xu said.

The first hospital at the Pudong center is expected to open later this year, while the New Hongqiao Center, which is close to the Hongqiao International Airport, started construction work on its shared facility center yesterday.

It will be equipped with the state-of-the-art facilities that will offer imaging, testing and disinfecting services for the hospitals in the center.

"We will also encourage local medical experts to open their own clinics in the shared facility center," Xu said. "Doctors will be encouraged to practice medicines in more than one health facilities in line with the international practice."

Dr Zhang Qiang, a leading vascular surgeon who resigned from the state-owned Shanghai East Hospital to join a private hospital, said it makes sense to open the high-end market to private and overseas medical facilities and help raise the standard of the industry.

"Due to constraints and the large workload, state-owned hospitals are not able to offer really high-end health service," Zhang said. "Removing the VIP beds from state-owned hospitals will force the government to invest more on basic health service to meet the demand of the majority."


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