[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 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
  two-hour address.

  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
  billion people.

  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.

  *–Laurie Burkitt*




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