The World Bank announced Wednesday that it had approved a loan of 600 million U.S. dollars to China to help improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare services in Anhui and Fujian provinces.
The program will use the Program-for-Results (PforR) instrument, created in 2012, that links loan disbursements to tangible results on the ground, the World Bank said in a statement.
"China has made impressive gains in improving overall health outcomes in past decades, but now faces new challenges: an aging population, an increasing burden of chronic diseases, and fast-rising health expenditures," said Ramesh Govindaraj, World Bank Lead Health Specialist and team leader for the program.
Anhui and Fujian provinces, which face similar challenges as the country as a whole, have been pioneering innovative health reforms. The program will be implemented from 2017 to 2021, the World Bank said.
The program aims to improve the quality and efficiency of hospital services by reforming hospital governance and management, controlling the growth of health expenditure, and creating an enabling policy and institutional environment for health reform by strengthening oversight and stewardship, it added.
"We are pleased to support the Chinese government in the 'deep water' phase of its health reform. This PforR is building on our joint study with WHO and the Chinese government on health reform, and will put its recommendations into practice," said Bert Hofman, World Bank Country Director for China.