Shanghai's medical insurance scheme extended its coverage to medical bills at a foreign-funded hospital on Wednesday as part of efforts to boost the city's healthcare service sector.
Part of patients' medical bills at Shanghai Jiahui International Hospital, the first foreign-funded top-level public hospital in Shanghai, can now be paid by the city's medical insurance, the Shanghai Commission of Health and Family Planning said.
The hospital completed comprehensive internal tests on six sections, including registration, outpatient and emergency, and surgery, in the past six months.
During the first week of the test, about 5 percent of patients used medical insurance every day, according to statistics from the hospital. For ordinary medical services, around 10 to 20 percent of a medical bill can be covered by social medical insurance, while services for patients with serious diseases, such as cancer, can have up to 40 percent of the bill covered by the insurance.
Li Shengnan, a 32-year-old patient, went to the hospital for asthma treatment on Wednesday. The new policy saw 424 yuan ($61.25) of her 1,250 yuan bill covered by the medical insurance, much to Li's delight as it reduces the cost of quality service at an international hospital.
"The healthcare sector is vital amid the construction of a global city of excellence in Shanghai, as well as for its goal of building a top medical center in Asia," said Wu Jinglei, director of the Shanghai Commission of Health and Family Planning. "This policy is aimed at promoting a more international and diversified healthcare system in the city."
The implementation of the policy is a key outcome achieved under a guideline released in July on upgrading local health services.
The guideline included policies on medical treatment, health services and insurance. It featured 50 measures encouraging high-level private medical institutions to offer basic medical services at similar prices as public hospitals and to establish medical quality management systems in line with international standards. Restrictions on medical institutions, clinics and general practitioners were also eased to boost the development of the health services industry.
"The aim is to welcome high-level international medical brands to set up base here, and we will back them with land, financial, tax and personnel support," Vice-Mayor Weng Tiehui said at the news conference when the guideline was released.