Presentation and Discussion: How to Reform China's Overburdened Health Care Sector Go back »

2017-07-13 | Beijing

Presentation and Discussion: How to Reform China's Overburdened Health Care Sector

On 13th July 2017, the European Chamber held an event on the ongoing Chinese healthcare reform. Keynote speaker Professor Cai Jiangnan, director of the Centre for Health Care Management and Policy at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), shared his findings.

While the achievements of China’s healthcare system are impressive, challenges lie ahead. China’s population is aging at a fast rate. Increased life expectancy and unhealthy lifestyle lead to a dramatic increase of non-communicable diseases. Prof Cai described China’s healthcare as an upside-down pyramid. Most investment and funding is assigned to large hospitals, while clinics and private practitioners are poorly equipped and underpaid, seeing few patients. The Chinese government is aware of this situation. But to educate a large number of qualified practitioners, and to build-up trust and change the preference of patients for big hospitals are difficult to achieve within a few years.

During the last few years, the expenses of the Chinese healthcare system grew by around 20% annually which is not sustainable. A high proportion of expenses in China is caused by drug prescriptions. A key target of the healthcare reform is to control expenses. The industry needs to adjust to the changing environment.

China has established a national health-insurance, covering almost the whole population. Out-of-pocket expenses have decreased, but for the low-income population, illness is still a major reason for sliding into poverty.

After the keynote speech, Ms Yu Xin, Government Affairs Manager of Danaher, Mr Stefan Kracht, CEO of Fiducia Management Consultants and Mr Mike Dethick, Managing Director of RDPAC joined a panel discussion, moderated by Volker Müller, Business Manager of the European Chamber.

The panellists mentioned that China’s health expenses equal the GDP of some G20-countries. China’s strategic plan “Health China 2030” shall increase life expectancy by another three years, which means an additional 4 billion years of human life.

All panellists expressed their optimism about the future healthcare market in China. The European healthcare industry sees themselves as part of the Chinese economy and is eager to contribute to the success of China’s healthcare reform, providing essential products, service and training.

Related EURObiz articles