(Yicai Global) Aug. 11 -- Given strong demand for medical services and investment potential in China, The National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China plans to create a policy environment conducive to social forces entering the medical field, particularly in third-party examination organizations, said Jiao Yahui, deputy director of the Bureau for Medical Administration, at a routine briefing on Aug. 10.
Social forces have been expanding investment in the medical field and their service capabilities have continued to improve, he added.
Medical institutions run by social forces make up 45 percent of institutions in China, with the figure increasing to 57.2 percent for hospitals, as of the end of April. The number of hospitals operated by social forces has doubled since 2011.
The health commission is looking to guide social forces’ investments toward third-party examination and testing institutions.
Despite the large number of grass-roots health care institutions in China, a shortage of professionals means they cannot set up clinical laboratories, imaging departments or pathology departments, Jiao said. It is therefore necessary to integrate relevant resources and allocate them to third-party institutions or grade-two and above hospitals, and allow these grass-roots institutions to enjoy them, he added. The other option would be to encourage social forces to set up independent third-party labs and departments.
This will help centralize limited medical resources, share regional resources, enhance the service level of grass-roots institutions and aid in quality control to ensure medical safety.
China will also open up its medical field in the future. For clinics founded by foreign organizations in the form of a joint venture or partnership, the health commission will lift the restriction which prevents foreign investors holding more than a 70-percent stake.