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December 4, 2009

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Health care reform to include expansion of VIP services

SHANGHAI health authorities are considering allowing city-level hospitals expand VIP services beyond the current 10 percent cap as demand for higher-quality care rises in the city.

Major state-owned hospitals are also being encouraged to cooperate with leading overseas health groups to set up joint venture hospitals targeting the high-end market, officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau told the Shanghai Conference on Biotechnology & Pharmaceutical Industry Promotion yesterday.

"Shanghai needs to develop strategies in line with the local economic situation and people's health care demands under the national health care reform initiative," said Zhang Kan, director of the bureau's department of science education. "For example, we are working on a list of basic medicines to be covered by the city's medical insurance system. We will include more than 600 types of medicines, doubling those covered under the national standard, that patients can be reimbursed for."

He said Shanghai will focus on high-end and community-based medical services as it reforms the health care system.

City-level hospitals, the top medical facilities in the city, will cooperate with community health centers to improve the quality of care for less severe illnesses. They will also coordinate with one another to ensure patients with complicated syndromes are transferred to hospitals with better doctors and facilities.

District-level hospitals will be transformed into city-level hospitals or rehabilitation centers for the elderly and people with mental diseases.

Zhang said the districts of Luwan and Songjiang have been selected by the central government for trial reform of state-owned hospitals. This will include the creation of regional medical service groups that are expected to make better use of medical resources.

A group will be lead by a city-level hospital, which will have a district-level hospital and several community health centers under its direction. Patients can then be transferred quicker within the group's facilities for different stages of treatment depending on their needs.

"We will welcome international medical groups to set up high-end hospitals in key areas such as Hongqiao, where they are building the new traffic hub," Zhang said.


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