Thoughts on the New Healthcare Proposal

If you aren’t aware already, the Chinese government recently announced “a blueprint for health-care over the next decade”.

The reforms are aimed at making healthcare more available and affordable. The ultimate goal: “By 2020, the world’s most populous country will have a basic health-care system that can provide “safe, effective, convenient and affordable” health services to urban and rural residents.”

According to the WSJ (via Xinhua) the proposal is up for public debate until November 14th, but some people have decided to tackle the issue earlier. Hecaitou recently wrote a post about it on his blog called “I Don’t Understand the New Healthcare Plan”:

The 2009 Healthcare Reform Plan has come out. I tried to read the 14,000 character text and discovered that, I fear, my reading abilities are not sufficient to understand it. The first, second, and third chapters are especially difficult. I recognize every character and I’m familiar with the expressions they’re using, but when they’re all linked together I can make neither head nor tail of it. If I take a chapter and put it into a Word document, then replace “Medicine” with “Sports”, “Music”, or “Food”, it seems clear and coherent and doesn’t the meaning at all.

I am a poor person, I don’t need to know all those big words. I only need to know a few things:

  • After reforming healthcare, where will I go to see the doctor? Why?
  • After reforming healthcare, how much money will I spend to see the doctor? How will it be spent?
  • After reforming healthcare, how much will I have to pay each month for insurance, and how much of my medical expenses can this insurance cover? How will it cover them?
  • After reforming healthcare, how many parts will the medical fees be split into? How must each part of the fee be paid? How much of the fee will individuals pay?

I need a process for seeing the doctor for common ailments (to be used frequently), I need a process for seeing the doctor for serious illnesses (to be used occasionally), I need a process for seeing the doctor for chronic diseases (to be used by old people), additionally [I need to know] how much of the medical fees will be paid by me and how much covered by insurance. Then I need a chart that compares before and after the medical reforms, to see if the amount of money paid by people [after the reforms go through] has increased or decreased.

[…] I also need the Health Department to tell me a story, talking about for every dollar spent by the government, how many cents go to hospitals, how many cents go to pharmacies, and how many cents go to me. Then I need them to tell another story: for every dollar that I spent, how is this dollar being split and spent?

I also need a wise netizen to write an article for common people as good as “Explaining the Loan Crisis Clearly in 5 Minutes,” and explain clearly with these reforms are changing, what I stand to gain or lose from the changes, in the future what changes or problems will occur; additionally, [I need someone to write] an article on “Quickly Taking Advantage of the New Medical Reforms” that I can use to work [the system].

Clearly, Hecaitou is of the opinion that the actual proposal needs to be clarified before there can really be any public debate at all. Many other netizens have expressed similar opinions on BBS forum posts about the topic like this one, a collection of some of their comments is translated below:

It depends on how it’s specifically implemented. If it can really keep common people from having to worry about expenses when they have serious illesses, then it’ll be fine.

I was talking about this this morning with my coworkers, if it really can help the public’s interests then that will be good. I’m looking forward to seeing…”

Let common people spend less money and do more things!

The New Healthcare Reforms should really think over the needs of the common people, and thoroughly change the kind of “Going to the doctor is difficult, going to the doctor is expensive” situation that exists now. Take strict precautions against the few able-bodied people who use “countermeasures” to get into holes in the policy!

I really hope that the result of medical reforms will be the same as the original [intents] of the policy.


0 thoughts on “Thoughts on the New Healthcare Proposal”

  1. The announcement of a plan doesn’t really impress me much — I’ll be interested to see what the results are. I’m not really a fan of national healthcare, but, since China’s goal seems to be to develop a typical Western European-style economy, it’s obvious that this was going to happen sooner or later. I suppose a lot will depend on how much wealth the Chinese economy is able to generate in the next decade, now that they’ve committed to a big spending program.


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