BEIJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- China has introduced a series of policy initiatives to promote the healthy development of private medical and health institutions, according to a new directive jointly released by 10 central government agencies.
The government will ramp up support for private medical and health institutions, and push forward efforts to upgrade services and simplify government approvals, says the document.
The number of private medical and health institutions reached 459,000, accounting for about 46 percent of the country's total, as of the end of 2018, according to Wang Hesheng, deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC), at a Wednesday policy briefing about the directive.
As of the end of last year, China had 21,000 hospitals run by private sectors or 63.5 percent of all hospitals, Wand added.
China saw steady growth in the proportion of staff workers, sickbeds and treatments at private medical and health institutions in recent years, the official noted.
The number and scale of public hospitals should be strictly controlled in accordance with requirements of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) to leave sufficient room for the development of private medical institutions, according to the directive.
When increasing or adjusting medical and health resources, local authorities should first consider medical and health institutions run with funding from non-government sectors, says the document.
Government purchases of services from private medical and health institutions should be supported, in accordance with the principle of fair competition and merit selection, in a bid to provide community residents with family doctor services, among other public health services.