China’s central government plans to increase spending on health care by 16.3% this year to roughly $26 billion, as part of a broader goal to improve public health and to complete overhauls to the country’s health-care system it introduced in 2009.
As part of the nearly spending initiative, Beijing will increase its per-capita funding for basic health services to 25 yuan, or $3.8, per capita, up 67% from a year earlier, said China’s Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday, in a speech delivering the government’s plans for the upcoming year. The government will also allocate 76 billion yuan to increase health-insurance coverage and to boost insurance subsidies to 200 yuan, up from 120, per person.
“We need to put people first, make ensuring and improving their well-being the starting point and goal of all our work,” Mr. Wen said in his two-hour address. The increase in health spending is a core part of China’s plan to restructure its health-care system to provide affordable access to hospital care, medical treatment, and pharmaceuticals. In 2009, leaders pledged 850 billion yuan over three years for a measure to create universal access to health care by creating basic medical insurance coverage for 90% of its 1.3 billion people.