WHO chief says China's health care reform "in line with WHO principles"
www.chinaview.cn 2009-04-07 20:43:11   Print

    BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China's planned health sector reforms are in line with principles of the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide equal access to universal health-care, WHO head Margaret Chan said Tuesday.

    She said the level of consultation by the Chinese government before launching the reform was "commendable."

    Chan made the comments at the launch of the World Health Day campaign in Beijing the same day the Chinese cabinet announced a three-year action plan on health-care reform that will last more than a decade.

    "The broad principles contained in the Chinese government's new health-care reform are in line with what the WHO is promoting, for example, the principle of equity, the principle of having the poor (covered by) health policies," said Chan, the director general of the WHO.

    After more than 20 years of transition from a socialist planned to a market economy, China's cradle-to-grave social security network was gradually dismantled, leaving many vulnerable.

    Efforts in the past decade to reform the health sector were also regarded as unsuccessful. Three years ago the government began to draft a new reform plan aimed at helping all 1.3 billion citizens have effective and affordable access to a better health care.

    The core principle of the reform is to provide basic health-care as a public service, which requires greater government funding and supervision.

    Asked if health-care services should be provided free, Chan said it was necessary to take a piecemeal approach to that objective, which was also in line with the principles of WHO.

    Chan said experience from other parts of the world showed that "there is no substance provided free."

    "It has to be paid for, either from general taxation, either through special government arrangement to provide helpful policy to encourage public insurance," she said.

    Chan said health-care reform was "very complex and difficult," and had different factors coming into play, which required efforts of both the public and leaders.

    She said central and local political leaders at different levels should consult with their people to try to find their own solutions.

    "One thing I have to say though... the level of consultation done by the Chinese government before they formally launch the health care reform is commendable," Chan said.

    In the government's early stage of deliberation and preparation, the WHO was among the agencies and organizations to provide advice and technical assistance, she said.

    The government also went held a major consultation process with the public by publishing the draft plan on health-care reform on the Internet for public debate.

    "Last year when they were doing the consultation, I actually went on the website to review some of the comments," Chan said. "So this is already an indication of the commitment of the government to modernize their method of policy formulation."

China unveils action plan for universal access to basic health care

    BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China unveiled a three-year action plan on health care reform Tuesday, which it said would lay a solid foundation for equitable and universal access to essential health care for all in China.

    Under the 850 billion yuan (124 billion U.S. dollars) plan for 2009 to 2011, the government promised universal access to basic health insurance, introduction of an essential drug system, improved primary health care facilities, equitable access to basic public health services and pilot reform of state-run hospitals.   Full story

China's health-care reform plan hailed as encouraging, right decision

    BEIJING, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Officials with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank have said China's commitment to universal access to basic health care in its new health care reform plan was an encouraging and right decision.

    Dr. Sarah Barber, an official with WHO Representative Office in China, said that the aim to improve equitable access to essential health care for all in China was "laudable."   Full story

China to set up essential medicine system to curb rising drug prices

    BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government Tuesday announced it will institute an essential medicine system within three years to drive down prescription costs and quell public complaints of limited accessibility of medicines.

    The system includes a list of essential medicines that would be produced and distributed under government control and supervision, according to an action plan (2009-2011) on China's health-care reform.  Full story

China to set up clinics in every village within 3 years

    BEIJING, April 7 (Xinhua) -- China will set up at least one clinic in every village within three years to improve the health care at grassroots level, according to an implementation plan for medical reform released by the State Council here on Tuesday.

    The government will also support the construction of 2,000 hospitals at the county level to guarantee that each county has a hospital that meets the national standard, the three-year plan (2009-2011) said, adding that more township hospitals and clinics will be built or expanded in 2009.   Full story

Editor: Xiong Tong
Related Stories
Home Health
  Back to Top