China to Reform Health Care System in 2011, Says Vice Premier

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang said in the government website that "the country would fight the toughest battle to reform the health care system in 2011."


Li reportedly made the remarks during a meeting on reforming the health care system recently. 


The vice premier called "for efforts to ensure the people's universal access to basic medical insurance and basic health care services."


China would largely raise the level of government subsidies for medical insurance schemes in both rural and urban areas and increase government spending on public health care services this year, Li said.


He added that "the basic medicine system, which aims to ensure affordable access to crucial drugs for patients, should be implemented across government-run grassroots hospitals and clinics in 2011."


Meanwhile, a related report, the general office of the State Council announced last week that it had issued a document highlight five areas in which the reforms would be improved --health insurance for urban and rural residents, full-coverage of the essential medicine mechanism at the grass-roots levels, and building more county-level hospitals to improve the accessibility of medical services.


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