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Open up health budget to clear public scrutiny

05-12-2010 09:56 BJT

It is reported early this week that Shenmu county, Shaanxi Province, has made public its health budget for the year.

The news sends out two messages. First, the government's investment in public health is transparent, and can bear public scrutiny. Opening the books to the public has displayed a clean government. Second, the investment in the new healthcare policy will benefit most of the vulnerable.

In many places, the government's annual expenditure in public health is kept a secret. With the lack of public supervision, some local governments do not spend enough in public health, and some only conduct "trial programs" that drag out the process of reform.

Early last year, Chen Zhu, China's health minister, also conveyed his concern. The budget for healthcare reform from 2009 to 2011 is 850 billion yuan ($124.46 billion).

If all funds are in place, individual medical costs can be reduced by two-thirds, but the precondition is that all 500 billion yuan ($73.21 billion) invested in local medical care reform can be put in place. And the supporting measures from local governments play a vital part in public healthcare reform.

Local governments should learn from the Shenmu government, posting open budgets and accepting public supervision.

Deputies of the people's congress at various levels should also urge local governments to do so: This can let taxpayers know how their money is being spent.

Editor:Beauty |Source: Xinhua

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