NDRC released opinions to further rebalance healthcare pricing toward services, rather than pharmaceutical sales. Raising the prices for services while cutting those for medicines should keep health costs stable during reform. It follows the 2015 drug price reform and will

  • narrow the scope of government pricing and improving price management by 2017
  • set up a dynamic price adjustment mechanism and comparison mechanism by 2020

The reform aims to end public hospitals’ reliance on pharma sales to support other health functions, says Zhu Dezheng 朱德政 NDRC. To ensure that patients do not face a larger overall burden, NDRC officials will

  • control overall prices, including encouraging technology to lower the cost of large operations or examinations
  • coordinate health insurance to cover higher medical service fees
  • tailor medical expenses to local needs and levels of development