BEIJING, June 27 (Bernama) -- China has nominated 311 counties or county-level cities in a programme to pilot reform of the country's public healthcare facilities, the Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday.
The national initiative includes 83 counties or county-level cities in east China, 136 in central China and 92 in west China, the ministry said.
The 311 counties or county-level cities are expected to undergo reforms in finance, management and human resources by 2015 to enhance their capacity, Xinhua news agency reported.
The ministry have asked the counties to each set up their own leading group to guide the reform, and collect data and submit reports to upper-level health authorities to generate experience for future reform of major public hospitals in cities.
According to a guideline published earlier in June by the State Council (Cabinet), the pilot programme plans to wipe out the existing financing mechanism of Chinese hospitals relying heavily on medicine sales while their services are undervalued.
County hospitals are known as the backbone of the country's health care network in rural areas, and directly serve over 900 million Chinese. Rural patients, however, tend to flood into major hospitals in cities to seek better quality services.
The programme has set a goal of restoring the people's trust in county-level medical facilities and serving 90 percent of all the patients within each county.