China to spend S$2.1 billion to subsidise hospital reform in 2016

The emergency centre of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, on July 4, 2015.
The emergency centre of the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University in Zhengzhou, China, on July 4, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS)- China will spend 9.8 billion yuan (S$2.1 billion) to subsidise public hospital reform in 2016, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 8), as the country looks to overhaul its creaking national healthcare system.

China's government, which has been struggling with overcrowded city hospitals, simmering tension between patients and doctors, and widespread bribery in the sector, will spend 11.1 billion yuan to subsidise the reform process in 2015.

The country's much-hyped healthcare reform drive is facing a number of obstacles, including a perceived lack of support from central government and challenges of private firms working within the huge, fragmented public sector.