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Health insurance policy seen as essential to medical alliance

By Wang Qingyun (China Daily)

08:49, November 08, 2012

As Beijing's Chaoyang Hospital prepares to establish an alliance with other medical institutions, insiders involved in the project said the hospital will find itself under less pressure only if changes are made to public health insurance policies.

The alliance, which involves four hospitals and seven community healthcare centers in Chaoyang district, is meant to encourage more people to seek treatment at small institutions. That will enable those small institutions to concentrate on chronic ailments and large hospitals to mostly treat more complicated conditions.

Chen Yong, executive director of the hospital, said the alliance will be a way to share the burden of providing healthcare services.

"Our resources are scarce and are being wasted," he said. "Many people with chronic conditions choose to consult our doctors instead of going to smaller institutions."

To get smaller clinics more involved in treating less-severe diseases, Chaoyang Hospital began collaborating with community health centers in 2007.

Chen said the cooperation has not gone well, mostly because there is no clear division of labor among the institutions. Chaoyang Hospital is trying to improve the situation by supporting the other members of the alliance as they work to develop their own strengths, which will enable them to oversee the recovery and long-term treatment of different kinds of patients.

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