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China releases guidelines to improve funding for grassroots medical institutions

12-15-2010 08:44 BJT

BEIJING, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government on Tuesday published guidelines on improving the country's funding system of grassroots medical institutions, according to a statement posted on the central government's official website

The statement, posted by the General Office of the State Council, or Cabinet, said the government will introduce new measures to provide funding and subsidies to grassroots medical organizations and ensure the salary of medical staff did not decrease following a cut in the price of medicine.

To ensure low income-earners can afford essential medicines, over half of China's medical clinics based in rural townships and small urban communities have been offering essential medicines at reduced prices since August 2009.

Some medical institutions were short of revenue because of the reduced drug prices, which had affected their operations.

According to the statement, expenditures of government-run grassroots clinics will be covered by government subsidies and medical service charges.

To boost staff income, local medical institutions are allowed to raise service charges, which will be paid by the social insurance system instead of the patients, said the statement.

The guidelines also asked local governments to offer subsidies to country doctors and other non-government grassroots medical institutions.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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