Paper Points out Problems in Chinese Medical System

June 1, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: June 1, 2006 12:00 am

TAIPEI – The Chinese Medical Green Paper (The Green Paper) criticizes the reform of the Chinese medical system, saying that it has resulted in many “unreasonable phenomena” in the medical field. The book summarizes them into five categories including “Dare not go to the Doctors When Sick,” “Doctors becoming Merchants,” “Extravagant Medical Building” as three of them.

Hong Kong's China News Agency reports that The Green Paper published by the Social Science Citation Publishing House believes that the Chinese people are universally afraid of visiting hospital and seeing doctors, which has resulted in the exacerbation of many minor ailments into serious sicknesses.

According to relevant data, the Chinese medical system only covers a little more than one third of its citizens. In 2005, about 20 percent of city residents and 26 percent of rural residents were unable to visit a doctor because of they lacked the means to do so.

The Green Paper also points out that, as a sharp contrast, while some sick people are unable to visit doctors, big hospitals are being built increasingly taller, with increasingly luxurious room décor. Most of these expansions and renovations are from the hospitals' profits and loans.

In addition, “Expensive Medicines Sell Well” and “Hi-Tech Equipments Sell like Hot Cakes” are also among the unreasonable phenomena. With regards to hi-tech equipments, China's National Development and Reform Commission has released a document stating that now in China, the standard fee for exams requiring large scale high end equipments is on the high side. Some medial institutes, in pursuit of financial gains, indiscriminately purchase these types of medical equipments. This has resulted in the serious situation of unjustified exams and fees. Not only do these acts place a burden on the patients, but it is also a waste of medical resources.

According to The Green Paper , the difficulty and high expense to see a doctor have become a popular issue of the Chinese people. Such a difficult problem is not going to be solved by the hospitals themselves.