In a New Year's message China's Minister of Health, Gao Qiang, promises to hammer out reform of the country's medical care system in 2007.
The minister said the medical care reform scheme will feature increased government investment, stricter professional supervision and reduced medical costs for citizens.
He said in 2007, the government will continue to extend its health care network in rural areas and in urban communities, to provide safe, efficient, convenient and reasonably priced public health services for citizens.
He said relevant departments will tighten management on medical services, strengthen training and medical ethics to improve the quality of medical services, ensure medical security and form harmonious relations between doctors and patients.
A national survey on medical services, conducted in 2006, showed48.9 percent of Chinese didn't bother or couldn't afford to see a doctor when they were ill and 29.6 percent refused a doctor's advice to be hospitalized because the cost was too high.
Health care reforms are in response to widespread public dissatisfaction with the current system. In October 2006, Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the Ministry of Health (MOH), said the government would build a health care system with Chinese characteristics, rather than simply copy a "European model" or "American model".
Source: China View