China’s Medical Bulk-Buy Scheme to Include Dental Implants
Lin Zhiyin | Liao Shumin
DATE:  Aug 19 2022
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
China’s Medical Bulk-Buy Scheme to Include Dental Implants China’s Medical Bulk-Buy Scheme to Include Dental Implants

(Yicai Global) Aug. 19 -- China’s healthcare watchdog is planning to promote the centralized procurement of tooth implant consumables and regulate the pricing of dental implant procedures in order to rein in high dental charges.

Healthcare authorities need to standardize prices for dental implants, dental crowns, bone grafting surgeries and organize the bulk buying of dental consumables in order to push prices down, the National Healthcare Security Administration said yesterday.

Dental practices are charging a high premium for dental surgery, with one third of the cost going towards materials and the rest to the dentist, Guancha reported earlier this year, citing Wang Wenhua, partner at China Insights Consultancy. The consumables for implants cost between CNY500 (USD73) and CNY2,000 (USD294), but customers must pay between CNY5,000 and CNY20,000, he added.

However, there are challenges in including dental implants in the centralized procurement program as most tooth implant practices are privately run and as such they are not on the national health insurance directory which mainly serves public hospitals, Wang told Yicai Global recently.

The NHSA is working on solutions to motivate public hospitals to participate in bulk buy programs. For instance, it is asking the Sichuan Provincial Healthcare Security Administration to form an interprovincial procurement alliance of dental implant consumables. Public hospitals must take part and place orders equal to their actual purchases the previous year.

“China’s dental implant industry is worth as much as CNY3 billion (USD440.5 million) based on ex-factory prices,” Wang said. This is likely to change once the sector is included in the centralized procurement program. By taking part in bulk-buy schemes, the price of dental implant materials could be slashed by up to 89.5 percent, based on a previous trial by Bengbu in eastern Anhui province.

China performs around 21 dental implants per 10,000 people compared with 630 in South Korea and over 100 in developed western countries, so there is still a lot of room for growth, per CIC statistics.

Editor: Kim Taylor

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Keywords:   Oral Implantology,Medical Insurance