China tweaks villagers' health insurance system to encourage timely outpatient healthcare

19:52, July 23, 2010      

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China will encourage villagers to seek timely outpatient healthcare through an adjustment to the New Rural Cooperative Medical Care System (NCMS), a medical insurance scheme for villagers.

To improve rural areas' health services, 50 percent of regions will implement an outpatient co-payment by the end of the year, the Ministry of Health said in a statement Friday.

Under the outpatient co-payment scheme, villagers are reimbursed their outpatient fees after paying a premium.

Previously, the insurance scheme involved inpatient co-payments and a family account, resulting in a tendency for villagers to seek inpatient care while neglecting to seek medical care when they suffered slight ailments.

Moreover, patients tended to save funds in the family account because the money could be withdraw if there was a balance, resulting in further reluctance to seek outpatient treatment.

The ministry's notice also ordered relevant organs to improve the quality of health care in rural clinics.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王千原雪)

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