New Healthcare Reform Scheme in Guangdong Stirs Opposition
Should public hospitals aim to pursue profit? The healthcare reform of China has been plagued by this question for many years. In June 2016, hospital directors and doctors in Zhongshan City, Guangdong Province expressed their strong oppositions to a proposed salary reform scheme in public hospitals because the new scheme set salary cap at a pretty low level. In fact, the focus of this reform should have been to give doctors reasonable salary increases.
Since 2017, the pilot salary reform has been expanded to as many as 2,800 public hospitals. But the reformers have not found a feasible way to balance the public hospital’s role as a public welfare provider and its pressure of providing income incentives for doctors. Especially in the medical reforms of the past 12 years, doctors in public hospitals have never received their share of the reform dividends. It is necessary to avoid excessive “profit-seeking” in public hospitals, but doctors’ services should be valued too.
China Launches New Pilot Project of Medical Insurance Payment Reform
There are always some contradictions among medical insurance authorities, hospitals and patients, but in the same time, these three parties also rely on each other to some extent. Therefore, the game between medical insurance authorities and hospitals has never stopped. Policy makers therefore have to be very cautious when designing and piloting the new round of medical expenses payment reform project.
The inspiration of the new medical insurance reform plans comes from the diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) payment popular in European countries and the United States. This reform will prompt all parties involved to reconnect with each other. Therefore, the reformers and the parties that will be affected by the policy are very worried. The reform of the payment scheme is coordinated with the reform of the salary system and the reform of the pricing of medical services. One of the goals of this reform is to urge hospitals to shift from passive management to active management. At the same time, patients will be expected to be more rational in seeking medical treatment.
China’s Pet Clinic Market Sees Unprecedented Boom
“Generation Z” refers to people who were born between 1995 and 2009. These young people are rapidly pushing up their demands for pet medical treatments. They care about the health and well-being of their pets and often spend tens of thousands of yuan in pet medical expenses, even if they have to live on a tight budget. As this generation of young consumers enter adulthood, they are more enthusiastic about the lifestyle of owning and caring for a pet, and correspondingly they are willing to spend more money and energy for pets. Some people are even willing to go into debt to pay for the medical expenses of their animals.
According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Industry Association in 2020, more than half of pet owners aged 18-34 will treat their pets like children and are willing to spend more money for them. Currently, more and more pet hospitals are becoming chains from established brands. Many people in the industry mentioned in interviews with Caijing that China’s pet hospital market is still in the early stages, and in the future they will also focus on chain store development.
China’s First Approved CAR-T Therapy Priced Sky-High
China’s first CAR-T product approval is Axicabtagene Ciloleucel Injection, a drug for the treatment of cancer, and its price is set as high as 1.2 million yuan per injection. The high price of this drug is due to its huge cost of research and development. Besides, some indispensable materials still need to be imported. In June 2021, Fosun-Kite received the approval for the drug. An executive of this company told reporters from Caijing that the drug has been used by more than a dozen patients in less than three months after it was approved.
The high cost of such drugs and treatments has turned away many patients with ordinary income. Many people are eager to know how much the price of domestic CAR-T products can be reduced when they are officially launched. However, according to industry insiders, the possibility of a substantial price cut is quite small.