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Reforms cut costs and improve services
April 21,2017   By:China Daily
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April 21, 2017 -- A nurse takes the health details of a senior patient at Donghuashi Community Health Center in Beijing.Luo Xiaoguang / Xinhua
 
April 21, 2017 -- Markups on drug prices have been abolished in the capital's hospitals as part of a series of measures to provide better, targeted treatment at lower prices. Wang Xiaodong reports.
 
Wu Weihong hasn't been affected by the medical reforms implemented in Beijing this month, but the new measures have had a big impact on his 61-year-old mother, who has regular treatment for chronic kidney disease.
 
Wu subscribes to Beijing's basic medical insurance program, which means most of his medical fees are reimbursed. However, his mother, a farmer in neighboring Hebei province, subscribes to a different program so she has to bear the entire cost herself.
 
"We paid 100 yuan ($14.50) to see a senior doctor," said Wu, who works for a property management company in Beijing, after accompanying his mother to the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, a major treatment center in the capital.
 
"In the past, the cost of seeing a similar-ranked doctor was only 7 yuan."
 
A patient surnamed Li, who recently had surgery at the same hospital, said he has heard about the reform in recent days and is curious to see what will happen next.
 
"I heard hospital drug prices have been reduced. Many patients with my illness have discussed the issue online. Some said doctors are now prescribing fewer drugs than before, so they have to go to the hospital more frequently to get new supplies," he said.
 
"I have not been affected by the change, but I think people who have been prescribed drugs that cost more than 1,000 yuan will feel the difference."
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