To change, China has hard nuts to crack
Updated: 2014-03-11 16:10
China has beefed up spending on medical reform, but it is still too slow. Violent incidents between patients and medical workers have repeatedly made the news. Some have resulted in doctors and nurses either being killed or suffering serious injuries.
Zhong Nanshan, a doctor and NPC deputy, said the tensions between doctors and patients are largely caused by less communication and a lack of interaction. Patients flood big public hospitals for good doctors and the latest equipment. The time a doctor has for each patient is squeezed.
Legislators have called for more government spending in public medical services, especially at community and village clinics.
Without a sound system to improve grass-root hospitals to meet the growing demands of the public, tensions between doctors and patients can never be solved, said Guo Yufen, a senior health official from Gansu Province in northwest China.
"People are the foundation of a nation, and a nation can enjoy peace only when its foundation is strong," Premier Li said, promising reforms aimed at sharing more equally the benefits of China's economic development.
Among the government's aims are creating 10 million more urban jobs, lifting over 10 million people out of poverty, consolidating the national basic medical insurance system, as well as giving high priority to developing education and making it more equitable.
Despite sweeping reforms, analysts warned the implementation at local level would be difficult because of resistance from vested interests of those who profit from the status quo.
"There will certainly be some people and government departments who, when deprived of power, will not be happy about the changes," said Wang Changjiang, a researcher with the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
As the easier and more popular social reforms have mostly been implemented, China's reform has now entered a critical stage and a deep water zone, he said.
"Solutions lie in leaders' determination and top-level design. It is very difficult to translate words into actions, but if it is not done, we fail."