Managing a China Hospital? Be Careful of New Laws!

So you can’t add a new outpatient block to your hospital in 3 days? Sorry, you won’t be able to accept any new patients. Although this may seem strange to you, I actually encountered this situation when working in China. I have previously talked about the differences in how laws in China can be interpreted and implemented, and if you’ve read those posts then you can understand that variations exist between provinces and cities. This same phenomenon exists with the introduction of new laws. Typically new laws come down from the Ministry of Health and lower levels such as the

An Analysis of “Patient Centered Care” (以患者为中心). What Does it Really Mean?

Healthcare like all other industries is a victim to fads & slogans. Fads come and go, and some linger for longer than others. In Asia there is one slogan that is prevalent across countries – that of “International Standard Care and Service” (国际标准的医疗及保健服务). Therefore, many hospitals will advertise that they provide international standard care to attract patients, but what actually is this? I will address that answer in another post. The purpose of today’s post is to discuss another related and extremely common slogan that is a current fad for hospitals in China and which is used extensively in their

Interpretation of Healthcare Regulations

Now that your Medical Affairs person has helped you to ascertain which laws you need to comply with, the next step is to determine how those laws are being interpreted. Make no mistake, this can be a confusing and frustrating experience even with the assistance of your medical affairs expert. As already mentioned in the implementation section, China can be compared to Europe in terms of law implementation and interpretation. An example of this is a situation I encountered once in a city in China. I mentioned in the “Medications In Asia” section how central government have a legislated price

Medications in Asia – High Revenue?!

Medications are a sensitive topic in some countries in Asia. This is typically because medication sales make up a large (and sometimes major) portion of revenue for the hospital. There are several factors influencing this. Patient behavior in Asia (particularly China and Thailand of which I have most of my experience) is affected by a couple of factors which consequently increase the revenues of hospitals through medicine sales. Firstly, stand-alone clinics are typically not seen as providers of high quality or trustworthy medical care. Patients’ perception is that the best and most trustworthy care is provided by outpatient clinics in

Implementation of Healthcare Laws

I think everyone knows the SWOT model. One of the external threats (or opportunities) is that of government. For a hypothetical example, if you have a business selling widgets and the government passes a law stating that only they can produce and sell widgets then that could kill your company. In some countries the threat posed by government intervention is low with the law being stable and the government having a very low influence on the healthcare industry – with laws being well established and new laws only being introduced after industry-wide consultation and plenty of warning. Many Western countries