On Monday, a Chinese hospital sent the first electronic bill to a patient on its blockchain-based invoice management platform.
According to a report by Chinese state media China News Service, the People’s Hospital of Chengmai County, a public hospital in Hainan Province of South China, is the first hospital to issue and track invoices on a blockchain in the province.
Although not the first in China, Hainan is one of the few provinces that have successfully incorporated blockchain technology into their online administrative platform for public institutions.
The hospital sent invoices to the so-called "ticket holders" on the patient's phone. The report stated that patients can view the immutable medical and billing records for reimbursement without going to the hospital.
The platform is now only available in the city, but because the local government is committed to applying blockchain technology to the processing of official documents from other public institutions, it will expand to other parts of the province.
An official from the province’s ministry of finance stated, "Building on the pilot projects, we will optimize blockchain-based platforms and move more administrative work onto the chain so that government agencies can share information through the same system".
The southern Chinese province has preferential economic policies to attract blockchain firms to open offices in the province. Haikou, the provincial capital, is home to some of China's leading blockchain firms, including Huobi China.
Since Chinese President Xi Jinping's speech in September 2019 called on the country to seize the opportunities to develop the technology, provincial governments have taken a variety of blockchain innovation initiatives.
The Beijing government announced its overall plan to encourage financial service firms to better serve the capital markets through blockchain technology, while Shanghai included two blockchain projects in its list of 57 strategically important high-tech firms that will get monetary and intellectual support from the city.