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Chinese patients to save 50% on dental implant treatment

China’s National Healthcare Security Administration has introduced measures that are expected to halve the total cost of dental implant treatment at public hospitals in the country. (Image: humphery/Shutterstock)

CHENGDU, China: Bulk procurement of dental implants in China will halve the cost of implant treatment, according to the country’s National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA). Announced in September last year, the first round of government-led bulk procurement has reduced some unit prices by as much as 63%, and patients in China stand to benefit from cheaper dental implants from April.

A total of 55 companies placed bids in Chengdu in January to have their dental implants purchased through China’s new bulk procurement programme. English-language news agency China Daily reported that 39 companies made successful bids and that the volume of dental implants procured would be enough to meet 72% of annual demand for implant treatments at public hospitals in China.

Average unit prices have reportedly fallen by 55% as a result of the initiative. NHSA figures showed that the median price of premium dental implants belonging to Swiss brands dropped to CNY 1,850 (€253) from CNY 5,000 (€685), representing a 63% reduction, and that the average price of value implants fell by around 50% to CNY 770. The price reductions appeared to exceed the health authority’s expectations. Dental Tribune International reported in September that the centralised bulk procurement of dental implant consumables at a provincial level in China was expected to result in a 25% reduction in unit price.

In addition to the unit price reductions, the government has capped medical service fees per dental implant placed at public hospitals at CNY 4,500 and permitted hospitals located in areas with higher labour costs to request a higher fee limit. Fees currently range from CNY 6,000 to CNY 9,000.

The NHSA said that the new measures will halve the total cost of dental implant surgery in China, which currently varies from CNY 4,000 to CNY 30,000. “The variety of products is rich and can match clinical demands,” the administration said.

The administration took steps last year to lower the cost of dental implant treatment at public hospitals in an effort to improve the quality of living standards for the country’s ageing population.

Changsong Jiang, a healthcare insurance expert at Capital Medical University in Beijing, told China Daily that consumers felt that the price of implant treatment in China dental implantation was confusing and inconsistent. “The procurement programme will help make pricing schemes more transparent and open,” Jiang said.

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