China will carry forward public hospital reforms to optimize medical care resources for public health, according to a decision reached during a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Monday.
The reform on medical care pricing at public hospitals will continue toward dynamic price adjustments in medical services so that the expertise and efforts of medical workers are better reflected in value.
One or two cities in provincial areas where comprehensive medical reforms are being piloted will be chosen for medical insurance payment reform, covering all medical care institutions and services. The government will also designate over 100 disease categories for an insurance payment reform.
"Medical care reform is not only a major project to better public well-being, but also a major economic measure," Premier Li said.
He said public hospital reform should be pushed forward across the board, noting that reforms on medical care partnerships should be piloted in multiple forms to serve a "healthy China" with better and more convenient healthcare services.
China's medical care reform should adhere to the principle of guaranteeing basic healthcare, building working mechanisms and strengthening community health services, he added.
China started the latest round of healthcare reform in 2009, with a core objective of offering healthcare services to all people as a public good.
As of September, all public hospitals in China have joined the comprehensive reform program to end the 60-year-old practice of drug price markups, which enables a rationalization of medical care costs. As the reform proceeds, the share of drug sales in hospitals' total revenue dropped from 46.3 percent in 2010 to 38.1 percent in 2016.
Public hospitals, which totaled 12,708 by the end of 2016, provided 2.85 billion consultations, including diagnosis and treatment, last year, accounting for 87.2 percent of cases provided by all hospitals in China, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.