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Medical reform plan for public scrutiny

SHANGHAI will speed up the modernization of its medical service industry by concentrating best resources on two international medical centers in Pudong and Hongqiao areas.

Local public hospitals will phase out VIP wards and transfer patients who demand better services at higher costs to the two medical centers, local health officials said today.

They unveiled the draft plan for health reform today, which was open for public comments and suggestions in next few days.

Medical facilities funded by Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwanese investors are encouraged under the health reform plan, which tries to attract private and foreign investment to the city's health care system.

Previously, foreign institutions were only allowed to open joint venture clinics and hospitals in the city.

The final version will be issued next month, officials said.

Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Health Bureau, said Shanghai is to establish a health care system covering both permanent and temporary residents to ensure a safe, effective and equal health service.

"Public hospitals will focus on basic and non-profit health care as a result of the reform, which aims to introduce a better hospital management system and to provide better disease prevention for vulnerable groups, such as urban needy, rural residents, people with serious diseases, and migrant workers," he said.


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