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China releases medical-security plan to deepen health reform

Updated: Sep 30,2021 07:18    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has released its latest medical-security plan, issued by the General Office of the State Council, with the aim of benefiting people in all sectors of society.

The plan, designed for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), states that China should establish a multi-tiered medical-insurance system with universal coverage that benefits both urban and rural residents in a fair and sustainable way.

It highlights the coordinated advancement of the demand-side management of medical insurance and supply-side reform of medical services, in order to better serve the public.

According to the plan, China should enhance the medical-insurance system through collaborative governance, optimizing medical-insurance payments and the drug pricing mechanism, while strengthening the medical-fund supervision system.

Efforts should also be made to build up a strong supporting system with a solid legal basis and better digital services, reads the plan.

By 2025, China will see a more matured medical-insurance system that is equal, law-based, secure, smart and coordinated, the plan says.

To meet people's diverse demands for medical security, more efforts will be made to enhance the basic medical security system, improve the mechanism that provides insurance and aid for the treatment of major and serious diseases, and boost the synergy between health insurance and medical assistance, said Shi Zihai, deputy director of the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA).

Over the next five years, a key task is to establish and improve a long-term mechanism that prevents and reduces the risk of poverty or return to poverty caused by illness, Shi said.

"People's access to new and quality medicines should also be increased," said Shi. The NHSA will continue to optimize the spending of medical-insurance funds and dynamically adjust the catalog of medicines covered by medical insurance to incorporate more cost-effective items.

The NHSA will also further improve the mechanism for the trans-provincial on-the-spot settlement of medical bills via medical-insurance accounts and expand its scope of coverage along with better smart online services.