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China to further cut health expenditure

(Xinhua)

08:49, November 01, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- China will look to reduce patients' own health expenditure to 30 percent by 2015.

Ren Minghui, director of the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Health described the target as an "ambitious goal", as he addressed the Second China-U.S. Health Summit held on Wednesday in Beijing.

Ren said due to different stages of development, it was unpractical to drastically reduce out-of-pocket expenditure to 20 percent or lower, when asked whether China should consider the American level when setting its target.

Dr. Lincoln Chen, president of the U.S.-based China Medical Board, said in his keynote speech, the expenditure paid by U.S. citizens represents 23.4 percent of the total, according to the 2012 World Health Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to official statistics, Chinese governments both at central and local levels keep increasing investment in health. The share of government expenditure rose from 16.96 percent of the total in 2003, to 28.56 percent in 2010.

Correspondingly, the out-of-pocket expenditure decreased from 55.87 percent in 2003 to 35.52 percent in 2010.

The Second China-U.S. Health Summit was co-hosted by Harvard School of Public Health, Peking Union Medical College, Tsinghua School of Public Management, and supported by the Chinese Ministry of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

The first Summit was held in September 2011 in Boston, U.S..
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