- October: China records increase in medical resources in 5 years
Li Bin, minister of the National Health and Family Planning Commission held a news conference on the sidelines of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on October 22nd, and said that the availability of medical resources in China has increased in the past five years, with people at grassroots having better access to healthcare facilities.
Li mentioned that by the end of last year, the number of medical institutions in China reached 980,000, and the number of health workers exceeded 11 million. She added that the number of registered physicians per 1,000 people in China reached 2.3 last year, compared with 1.8 five years ago, the number of registered nurses per 1,000 people in China reached 2.5 last year, compared with 1.5 five years ago, and the number of hospital beds for every 1,000 people reached 5.4 last year, compared with 3.6 five years ago.
Of all 7.9 billion diagnostic and treatment services provided by hospitals and clinics in China last year, more than 55% were provided by institutions at grassroots. And to help medical institutions at grassroots improve abilities, more than 6,800 public hospitals have established partnership with such institutions through internet to provide guidance and training, Li said.
To control medical expenditure, all public hospitals, the primary provider of healthcare services in China, banned price markup for the drugs they sold to patients at the end of September, a practice carried out for decades by many public hospitals as a major source of income, Li said. Besides drugs, fees for medical services and checkups and tests, such as CT scanning, were also reduced as part of the ongoing healthcare reform. For example, in Beijing, which abolished drug price markup in all the city's public hospitals in April, patients saved 4.4 billion yuan ($665 million) in medical expenditure between April and September, Li said. (Source: China Daily)