The Three Major Trends of The Chinese Healthcare Industry Reform in the Next 10

The Three Major Trends of The Chinese Healthcare Industry Reform in the Next 10

In the past decade, medication sale has accounted for the majority of the revenue in the Chinese healthcare system, which has become an urgent issue. The Chinese government is under great pressures to bring immediate changes and turn the tide. In the wake of this phenomenon, it is predicted that three major trends will happen, including the diversification of medicine sale channels, the classification of diagnosis and treatment, and the commercialization of healthcare insurances.

1. The Diversification of Medicine Sale Channels
At present, most medicines are sold through hospitals and local clinics. A number of problems have arisen from it, with illegal incomes and malign competitions being the most prominent two. To stave off these issues, the Chinese government pegs big hope on establishing new sale channels, as it helps to alleviate the sale pressure from hospitals and stimulate the improvement of healthcare infrastructure. This has resonated positively across the spectrum of consumers, payers, and industry watchers.

2. The Diagnosis and Treatment Classification
Another prevailing question is how to effectively manage such a large number of patients. At present primarily fueled by the outdated and low quality medical services in local health centers, the majority of Chinese will seek medical helps from central hospitals, as they are believed to have the best doctors and provide the highest quality of medical cares; this has imposed great challenges on the Chinese healthcare system.

It is predicated that the situation will become even worse in the next decade, as China’s babe boomers reach the retirement age. The number of Chinese older than 65 is expected to amount to a total of 329 million in 2050, more than the total population of the US. Clearly, to take care such large population of patients, China needs to fully utilize community clinics and divert most of the patients there, in its quest to lift the weight on and improve the efficiency of the healthcare system.

To achieve this goal, China needs to step up its effort to facilitate the communication and the trust between community doctors and patients. It is very crucial to make sure that every patient gets to meet with their assigned community doctors face to face at least once every one to three months, in an effort to establish a harmonious and trustful relationship. On another note, this could also position China to set up its own chronic disease profiles, which is beneficial for patients’ health in the long term.

Worth mentioning is that, in this system, the income of a doctor depends on the health condition improvement of patients instead of the revenue from medicine prescriptions. And the biggest challenge standing in the way is who should pay for this expense, which needs to be further explored.

3. Changes to the insurance system will have a huge impact on the society

Largely driven by the above two trends, the community clinic will become the major battlefield for medicine sales, which is calling for a more sophisticated and reasonable insurance system. The commercialization of insurance is the key to solve this problem. Undoubtedly, China needs to create a more flexible market place to support and leave room for commercial insurances.


One Reply to “The Three Major Trends of The Chinese Healthcare Industry Reform in the Next 10”

  1. I just started reading and thought I would start at beginning.
    First thoughts: fyi, I think the US’s system of funding drug research though parents is terrible (for example, check out “Beat the Press”). I like a lot of water China does (climate change) so am optimistic.

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