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Beijing encourages private funds to set up hospitals

08-31-2012 09:27 BJT

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China has been encouraging private funds to set up hospitals as part of its medical reform. Before, private hospitals had difficulties attracting patients, due to lack of credibility and higher costs compared to public hospitals. But since new policies have been introduced in Beijing to support the private institutions, they are beginning to once again dream big.

Are the doctors good enough? This is always the first question most patients ask themselves when visiting a private hospital. And for the investor of a developing private hospital, the question is where to find good doctors.

Jing Wenjun, investor of Beijing Liying Hospital for Obstetric & Gynaecology, said, “We had great difficulty hiring experts. We could only find retired doctors, or graduates.”

Few doctors are willing to hop from a public hospital to a private one. That’s partly because the local Health Bureau does not permit physicians working in private hospitals to be recognized as reaching higher classifications, so doctors there have difficulty moving up the professional ladder.

But the new policies Beijing issued promise to provide equal access to certificate and academic project applications for those working for private institutions. Investor Jing Wenjun considers this the most important aspect for attracting quality physicians to his hospital.

Jing Wenjun said, “If these policies can be carried out well, they’ll bring fundamental changes to our development.”

Even with good doctors, high prices can often drive patients away.

Zhang Yang, President of Sanbo Brain Hospital, said, “Most patients used to just leave once they heard they couldn’t use medical insurance, even though there were long queues at the public hospitals.”

But the new policies have also helped to lower the cost.

Han Xiaofang, Director of Office for Medical Reform, Beijing, said, “Private hospitals now can apply for coverage by social security. Then the drugs they sell will be cheaper, based on prices fixed by the government. At the same time, the hospitals can get subsidies from the government.”

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source: CCTV.com

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