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Premier stresses healthcare reform

Updated: May 17,2019 8:49 PM

Premier Li Keqiang on May 17 gave instructions to a teleconference on national healthcare reform, calling for intensified efforts to push forward reform.

Achievements were made last year in centralized medicine procurement, markdowns on anti-cancer drugs, and a comprehensive reform of public hospitals, the Premier said, urging more effective implementation of the Healthy China strategy.

Cancer and chronic disease prevention and screening should be enhanced, while breakthroughs are expected in medicine procurement, payment by insurance, as well as a tiered diagnosis and treatment system, the Premier said.

The basic medical insurance covering 1.4 billion Chinese should be further improved and multiple forms of supplementary medical insurance should be encouraged, Premier Li said, adding that the reimbursement portion for serious diseases should be increased.

In addition, the Premier encouraged progress to be made in building a medical center for each region and in Internet Plus healthcare. Healthcare provided by private capital and traditional Chinese medicines should be supported, he said.

Sun Chunlan, vice-premier and head of the leading group on healthcare reform, also attended the meeting, and said that more accessible and cheaper healthcare services should be provided.

The system of healthcare insurance, medical care and drug circulation should be further reformed to bring people more benefits, she added.

More emphasis should be put on disease prevention, and the screening of cancer and chronic diseases should be carried out to ensure early diagnosis and treatment, she said.

The centralized drug-purchasing mechanism should be improved and extended to lower prices of drugs and medical consumables to ensure the supply of basic and first-aid drugs, she said.

She further said that the reform of drug prices, healthcare insurance payments and medical staff’s salaries should be advanced as well.

She also called for efforts to push forward Internet Plus healthcare, encouraged social capital enterprises to enter the healthcare industry, and called for the allocation of healthcare resources to be optimized.

Supervision on drugs, vaccines, and healthcare services should be strengthened, and insurance against major diseases for poverty-stricken people should be guaranteed, Sun said.