Chongqing hospitals plan to cut drug prices
Updated: 2012-07-26 17:09
By Xu Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)
Public hospitals in nine districts and counties in Chongqing plan to adopt reforms meant to reduce drug prices and change how hospitals make money.
Under the reforms, public hospitals in those places will no longer sell drugs at a markup and will instead charge patients higher medical care fees, the Chongqing Daily reported. To offset the income they lose from the changes, the hospitals will begin charging an additional drug service fee, it reported.
Chinese public hospitals have long relied on drug sales as a source of income, and drug prices at those hospitals have long been the subject of patient complaints.
The city's reforms are coming amid a national campaign to change public hospitals' practices. Authorities in Shenzhen, a city in Guangdong province, and Beijing have carried out similar measures.
The city's attempts to reform its public hospitals started in July 2010 in its Jiangbei district. The reforms were expanded to 15 hospitals last year.
They promise to control the out-of-pocket costs of patients by reducing drug prices at the hospitals, Qu Qian, an official from the city's health bureau, said on Wednesday.