China has decided to allocate 1.2 billion yuan (about US$157.9 million) this year to purchase medical equipment for hospitals in the country's poor rural areas, said an official of the Ministry of Health on Friday.
Yu Dezhi, deputy director with the ministry's planning and finance bureau, said at a press conference, "The purchases should be made through government procurement and public bidding concerning the purchasing is underway."
"No non-profit medical institutions are allowed to evade the pooled procurement," Yu said, adding that joint ventures or cooperation in any form were also banned.
"Government procurement will help standardize purchasing behavior, cut costs and prevent corruption," Yu explained.
The list of new equipment includes electro-cardiographs, ultrasound scanners, operation beds and respiratory mechanics, according to Yu.
(Xinhua News Agency July 28, 2007)