[health-vn] Fwd: WSJ: China Ramps Up Health Spending, Targets Smokers.Search China Real Time Report .Article Comments (8) China Real Time Report HOME PAGE ».
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Tue Mar 8 07:37:31 EST 2011
Thanks Phi, Vern
From: Phi Huynhdo <phihuynhdo at gmail.com>
Date: March 7, 2011 9:07:58 AM PST
To: Vern Weitzel <vern.weitzel at gmail.com>
Subject: WSJ: China Ramps Up Health Spending, Targets Smokers.Search China Real Time Report .Article Comments (8) China Real Time Report HOME PAGE ».
hi Vern China Ramps Up Health Spending, Targets Smokers
Search China Real Time Report
China’s central government plans to increase spending on health care by
16.3% this year to roughly $26 billion, as part of a broader goal to improve
public health and to complete overhauls to the country’s health-care system
it introduced in 2009.
As part of the nearly spending initiative, Beijing will increase its
per-capita funding for basic health services to 25 yuan, or $3.8, per
capita, up 67% from a year earlier, said China’s Premier Wen Jiabao on
Saturday, in a speech delivering the government’s plans
the upcoming year. The government will also allocate 76 billion yuan to
increase health-insurance coverage and to boost insurance subsidies to 200
yuan, up from 120, per person.
“We need to put people first, make ensuring and improving their
well-being the starting point and goal of all our work,” Mr. Wen said in his
The increase in health spending is a core part of China’s plan to
restructure its health-care system to provide affordable access to hospital
care, medical treatment, and pharmaceuticals. In 2009, leaders pledged 850
billion yuan over three years for a measure to create universal access to
health care by creating basic medical insurance coverage for 90% of its 1.3
Including this year’s appropriations, the government has spent around
450 billion yuan on health care.
Beijing also hopes that by lowering health-care costs, it will help drive
domestic consumption. Households in China save 28% of their annual income,
according to investment research group CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, and fear
of high hospital bills is among the main reasons. Instead of saving for
medical expenses, the government hopes consumers will buy consumer goods.
Health spending accounts for 3.2% of the government’s 5.43 trillion yuan
in overall expenditures this year, and will go toward the prevention of
chronic and mental illnesses, as well as HIV and AIDS, Mr. Wen said. Nearly
300 billion yuan, or 5.5% of total spending, is being spent on general
China also appears to be stepping up its antismoking
For the first time, the government’s five-year plan included a proposal to
ban smoking in public places, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported
Saturday. According to Yao Naili, dean of the China Academy of the Chinese
Medical Sciences, more than 1 million people die from smoking-related
diseases in China each year, Xinhua said.
“China’s pace of antismoking had been rather slow, therefore the decision
was not easy,” said Yue Bingfei, a member with the National Committee of the
Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and a research fellow
with the National Institute for the Control of Pharmaceutical and Biological
The funding also aims to increase insurance coverage and health
facilities for citizens in rural China. To fill a void of medical facilities
beyond big cities, Mr. Wen said China will increase the number of county,
township, and village health networks, and will encourage nongovernment
organizations and foreign investors to open private practices.
China’s rural areas have been plagued by poor access to care, the World
Bank said in a recent report on China’s health-care
Urban residents have been given access to specialty hospitals, university
research centers, and more-experienced doctors, while rural citizens face
subpar treatment and are often prescribed an “irrational” array of drugs,
the report said.
Officials acknowledge the health divide. Minister of Health Chen Zhu was
quoted in state-owned English-language newspaper China Daily on Friday as
saying, “It’s also a worry that the capacity of grassroots-level hospitals
is quite limited.” He added that 8,000 county-level hospitals don’t have
dialysis treatment facilities.
If China were to spend about 1.5% to 2% of its annual GDP, it could
guarantee national access to primary care, the World Bank report said,
citing a recommendation from the World Health Organization. If China’s GDP
grows at the target 8% rate this year, the central government’s health care
spending would account for 0.4% of GDP.
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