In recent years, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, together with other relevant authorities have conducted special operations and inspections, strengthening supervision and punishing violators in accordance with the law. There have been significant results and order in the medical service market is improving. However, some medical establishment and personnel are not professional, and practices violating laws and rules still exist. Media exposure of such cases, with severe consequences, has brought about heated discussion. In order to better supervise, regulate and standardize the medical industry in the interest of the people, a nation-wide special inspection of medical practice of institutions will be conducted from August 2016 to July 2017.
Centered on hot social issues and using a problem-oriented approach, the inspection, with innovative methods, is poised to improve the supervision of medical practices and hand down punishments for violations. The move aims at further regulating and standardizing the medical service market, and thus effectively protecting the rights and interests of people in terms of public health.
1) All medical establishments should do a self-inspection first, and solve relevant issues before October, 2016. Medical institutions of various levels and types throughout the country should do the self-inspection comprehensively in accordance with laws and regulations. The process of self-inspection and correction should be well recorded, and the results, together with a letter of commitment, should be sent to the local health and family planning administration (including the local administration of traditional Chinese medicine).
2) Spot checks will be conducted starting in November of 2016 and going until July of 2017, and for those which fail to pass the check, the inspection team will assign strict punishments in accordance with the law. The local health and family planning administration will, in response to the self-inspection, make spot inspections to medical institutions of different kinds, and punish those establishments with unreasonable or illegal behaviors.
(1) As for second-class and third-class hospitals (including maternity and child care institutions), key inspection areas include: lease or contract of hospital departments, overrun diagnosis and treatment functions, employment of non-medical staff, use of medical technology forbidden for clinical application, use of unregistered or limited medical technology for clinical applications, and the clinical application of the medical technology in accordance with the administration.
(2) As for the first-class hospitals and those without classes, for out-patient departments and clinics, key inspection areas include: fake medical documents, rent or loan of the medical practice license, arbitrary charges, overrun diagnosis and treatment functions, employment of non-medical staff, illegal medical cosmetology, illegal maternal and infant care, illegal family planning, and the diagnosis and treatment of urological diseases and dermatology.
(3) As for use of stem cells in clinical applications, key inspection areas include two main points. First, for registered institutions, unauthorized clinical application of stem cells in clinical research. Second, for unregistered institutions, unauthorized use of stem cells in clinical research and clinical applications, derived from clues presented in complaints and medical advertisements.
The supervision and spot check should cover all first-class hospitals and out-patient departments. As for the second-class and third-class hospitals, the spot check should be no lower than 50 percent of hospitals. For clinics, the rate should be no lower than 20 percent. Registered medical establishments using stem cells in clinical research should also be covered. Institutions, which publish illegal medical advertisement or receive complaints and punishments, will come under especially close scrutiny.
1) Strong Leadership Health and family planning administrations at various levels, law enforcement agencies, and medical institutions should put people's health and interests first and strictly implement these inspections. Provincial family planning administrations should better guide the practice of local administrations. For serious and typical cases of law-breaking, the inspection process and results should be presented to the public. For those who fail to meet the standards, relevant personnel should shoulder the responsibility in accordance with the rules and regulations.
2) Strict Responsibility Medical institutions of various levels should function under relevant rules and regulations, and comprehensively conduct self-inspection and correction. Clues from public complaints and media exposure should be taken seriously—verify through investigation and offer timely feedback to real-name reporting cases. When misconduct of medical institutions or staff was found, an investigation must be conducted in accordance with the law. For serious violators, the practice license of the medical institution and physician's license can be revoked.
3) Close Coordination The result of the inspection should be linked with review of the medical establishment and a "blacklist" should be gradually constructed. For serious violators, including medical institutions and personnel, they should be put into a social credit system. Punishment for the violation of laws and rules must be increased. The coordination among different departments should be enhanced. For violations not included in jurisdictions of the health and family planning administrations, relevant departments should be informed in accordance with rules and regulations.
4) Strong Social Supervision Complaint channels, including hotlines, should be unblocked. Ordinary people should be encouraged to provide information about violations. Relevant departments should also work closely with the media and release working progress and typical cases. When dealing with big issues, the health administration should work with the media to produce follow-up reports, which increases deterrence. They should also closely watch for changes in public opinion and offer public feedback after good analysis, thus forging a favorable social environment for the inspection.