Less control for private hospitals

Updated: 2014-04-11 09:35

By Li Yang (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Lifting the price control system is only the first step in promoting the development of private hospitals in China, says an article of the Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

The ministries of economic development, public health, and human resources and social security issued a joint notice recently to let the market decide the non-public medical institutions’ service prices and grant private hospitals pricing rights.

If the notice can be implemented, private hospitals can have a bigger role in serving the public’s need for quality medical treatment and services.

Non-private medical institutions only account for about 10 percent of China’s medical market. There are still many restrictive policies in registration, tax, finance and human talents for private hospitals.

The government’s control over the prices of private hospitals’ medical services stems the healthy development of the important medical service providers.

After private hospitals acquire autonomous pricing rights according to market needs, they will have a greater ability to compete with public hospitals by offering better services to higher-end customer groups.

The government also needs to give doctors the freedom of working for different employers or themselves.

This is not only a way to distribute medical resources more fairly, but also to better protect the interests of doctors.

Removing government control over private hospitals can encourage more social capital to enter the market.