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March 17, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Public hospital VIP rooms to go

VIP rooms in local public hospitals, which are popular with wealthy Chinese and some expats, are to close, officials said yesterday.

Instead, VIP beds will be offered in two planned international medical centers in Pudong and Hongqiao. These are currently at the planning stage, with construction scheduled to start this year.

They will feature high-end medical resources including facilities offered by overseas clinics, joint ventures, public and private hospitals.

These changes are part of health reforms in the city that will see public hospitals focus on offering basic health care to all residents.

A draft of the reforms was released yesterday for one week's public consultation. The final version will be issued next month, officials said.

Under these reforms, solely invested medical facilities from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan would get the go-ahead, in an bid to encourage the involvement of private facilities and overseas capital in Shanghai's health care system. Currently, overseas companies can only open clinics or hospitals in the city as a joint venture.

Xu Jianguang, director of Shanghai Health Bureau, said the city is to establish a basic health care system, covering all residents, including those with registered residency and people staying for more than six months.

This will ensure a safe, effective, fair and accessible service, said Xu.

"Public hospitals will only offer basic and non-profit health care under the reforms. These target better management and focus on disease prevention and general health management in vulnerable sections of the population," he said. "These include the needy, farmers, people with serious diseases and migrant workers."

Shanghai will also speed up the creation of a modern health service industry through medical tourism, health management and high-end care. This could involve offering traditional Chinese medicine, rehabilitation services and cosmetic surgery.


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