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Beijing competes to spearhead medical reforms

2014-02-04 10:25 Xinhua Web Editor: Si Huan

The Beijing municipal government is seeking central government support to lead China's experimentation with building wholly foreign-owned medical establishments, according to a local official.

Han Xiaofang, chief of the municipality's medical reform office, said on Monday that Beijing is making active efforts to seek approval from higher authorities to spearhead the country's deepening medical reforms.

Citing a municipal government document issued in early January on establishing an international medical service zone in Beijing, Han said the preferential treatments proposed by Beijing also involved looser foreign shareholding restrictions, lower thresholds for total investment and longer investment periods when it comes to the set-up of medical joint ventures.

Under the existing national regulations, Chinese investors should possess no less than 30 percent of the equity stakes in a medical joint venture. The total investment for such operations must be at least 20 million yuan while the cooperation period is limited to 20 years.

Han said that Beijing's ambition to lead the national experiment strengthened after the State Council, the cabinet, issued a document in October that promised to further open the medical industry by easing restrictions on the set-up of joint ventures and gradually experimenting with wholly foreign-owned medical establishments.

To enhance its credentials to spearhead these reforms, while seeking policy support from the central government, Beijing has also come up with a series of incentives to attract capable medical professionals.

For instance, it has promised to support doctors with public hospitals to open independent clinics or practice for different medical institutions within the international medical service zone.

Foreign physicians will also be encouraged to practice medicine within the zone according to relevant rules, added Han.

The international medical service zone situated in Tongzhou District of Beijing covers a land area of 15 square km. The municipality hopes to develop it into a world-leading medical industry base by 2030.

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