China today

This is the right way to go

2017-04-21 07:21:00 (Beijing Time)         Chinadaily.com.cn

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A prime measure in Beijing's medical reform is the abolition of drug price markups in public hospitals and raising the charges for services provided by medical staff. I think this reform is the right way to go.

Abolishing drug price markups will effectively prevent doctors from overprescribing drugs, and higher service charges will more closely reflect the true value of their work.

The reform may contribute to the establishment of a layered healthcare system, so there will be a better division of work between large hospitals and community medical institutes.

The changes should encourage patients with minor ailments to seek treatment at community clinics, leaving large hospitals free to focus on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses.

However, the reform may damage the interests of some people, such as patients outside Beijing, and public hospitals need to take more measures to improve services so patients will better accept the reform.

Even before the reform was implemented, our hospital had taken many steps to improve services, including providing one-stop services in the hepatobiliary department (related to the treatment of liver complaints and related illnesses) so patients do not have to register several times for the same treatment. In this way, they will spend less money.

At the moment, the income from drug sales accounts for about 27 percent of our hospital's total income. The figure is already lower than the 30 percent limit set by the reform.

We support the reform, and hope the fees for services provided by doctors can be further raised to truly reflect the value of their work. We hope the changes will not increase the financial burden on too many patients.

Dong Jiahong spoke with Wang Xiaodong