You are here:   Home/ Development News/ Health

Hospitals warned on emergency care

Shanghai, July 9, 2014 Adjust font size:

Hospitals must not turn away patients who need emergency care but cannot pay, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said yesterday, as the government tries to tackle a persistent problem in its sprawling health care sector.

Providing affordable, accessible health care is one of the key platforms of the central government. But hospitals are often underfunded and overcrowded, and access to care remains a pervasive problem for the poor.

Hospitals and first-aid teams must not refuse or delay emergency care because patients are unable to pay or their identity is in question. The new rules will help eradicate the social problem of “waiting for money before saving lives,” it added.

Medical institutes are required to provide timely treatment and assistance to the seriously ill or injured who cannot afford to pay, the commission said.

Violators of the rules in hospitals will face investigation, it said, directing local authorities to set up first-aid funds.

The Chinese government has repeatedly told hospitals not to turn away emergency cases, and media has detailed grisly accounts of people being left maimed or dying because hospitals refused emergency treatment over worries about funds.

Health care in China is not free but is supposed to be very cheap. But treatment is often out of reach of the poor in rural areas.

Premier Li Keqiang pledged yesterday that China’s medical and health care services must benefit all citizens.

In his meeting with World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan, Li said China has been reforming the medical and health care system to make it cheaper and to cope with the aging population.

Bookmark and Share

Related News & Photos