BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- The Ministry of Health on Wednesday warned doctors and hospitals against illicit profiteering in a bid to curb high medical costs.
Local health authorities should strengthen supervision over the medical sector where people have witnessed a surge in medical expenses, and strictly punish illicit practices, such as over-prescribing and irrational or repeated examinations, according to a circular from the ministry.
It urged hospitals to improve the centralized procurement system for drugs and medical equipment, and toughen requirements for the addition of high-cost major medical apparatus and technologies.
Doctors should enhance their professional abilities and services so to shorten average hospital stays and reduce patients' costs, according to the circular.
Drug price should be further lowered and basic drugs, usually cheaper, should be used first when treating patients, it added.
The circular asked hospitals to take medical staff members' cost control efforts into consideration when assessing their performance.
A sound system of cooperation should be established between public hospitals and local community-based medical institutions to boost regional medical service efficiency and reduce costs, the circular said.