China’s National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) has recently announced significant advancements in its healthcare system, aimed at providing better coverage and financial support for its citizens. As of August, the NHSA reported an expansion of outpatient bill reimbursement coverage, now reaching 99 percent of the locations included in the unified medical insurance accounts for employees.
This development, coupled with increased government subsidies for medical insurance, reflects China’s commitment to improving healthcare accessibility and affordability for its urban and rural residents.
Outpatient bill reimbursement expansion
Fu Chaoqi, a representative of the NHSA, shared at a press conference that outpatient bill reimbursement has witnessed remarkable expansion. A total of 320,900 medical institutions across the country are now covered by outpatient bill reimbursement through unified accounts. This initiative has resulted in over 124 billion yuan (approximately $17.3 billion) being refunded to patients. This move represents a significant milestone in reducing the financial burden on individuals seeking healthcare services, further aligning with China’s healthcare reform goals.
Unified medical accounts for authorized drug stores
In addition to expanding outpatient bill reimbursement, the NHSA has extended coverage to 141,400 authorized drug stores located in 25 provincial regions. As of August, 174 million bills from these drug stores have been reimbursed, amounting to over 6.9 billion yuan in medical insurance funds. This expansion enhances access to essential medications and promotes the efficient management of medical expenses, benefiting both urban and rural residents.
Government subsidies for medical insurance
The NHSA also highlighted the consistent growth in government subsidies for medical insurance for both urban and rural residents. This financial support is crucial in ensuring that healthcare services remain accessible and affordable for all Chinese citizens.
Per capita government subsidies increase
One noteworthy aspect of this development is the increase in per capita government subsidies for medical insurance. In 2018, the per capita subsidy was 490 yuan, and as of 2023, it has risen to 640 yuan. This signifies a 31 percent increase in government support over the five-year period, reflecting the government’s dedication to improving the healthcare system.
Total subsidies for 2023
In 2023 alone, subsidies for medical insurance for urban and rural residents have reached a staggering 384 billion yuan. These substantial funds are directed towards ensuring that healthcare services are affordable and accessible to all, promoting better health outcomes and a higher quality of life for Chinese citizens.