Uh oh... was the gold rush inspired by china's healthcare reforms too good to be true?
As we wrote previously, with a goal of providing universal coverage to the 1.3 billion Chinese, medical device and pharmaceutical companies rushed to take advantage of this boom. Now, however, the country faces serious obstacles to progress, leaving drug and device companies to wonder if the bonanza is over.
Complaints have long been heard that the cost of treatment in China has spiraled alarmingly. Now, user fees are at the heart of the problem.
CMAJ reported that
an effort by the Chinese government to reform hospitals by eliminating user fees faces tough opposition from clinicians. Also stymied — by a lack of physicians and money to pay them — is an effort to extend access to basic health care to 800 million rural residents, many of whom live in povertyEven an economy as mighty as that of China has to worry about who pays for healthcare. This is exacerbated by huge income differences across China. In the article, CMAJ notes that there is a ten-fold difference in incomes between the country's richest city (Shanghai) and its poorest rural areas.
As the central government attempts to redistribute resources from the country's wealthy cities into rural regions, drug and device companies are paying close attention to the world's largest health care experiment.
For more information on China, take a look at the following:
- China's IVD market is booming
- Navigating China's Medical Device Regulations
- What does a Chinese keyboard look like?
ForeignExchange provides specialized medical translation services to global medical device and pharmaceutical companies.