China to boost medical benefits

Beijing, Oct 26 (IANS) The Chinese government are trying out measures designed to provide better medical services for people with low income, a media report said on Monday.

The new programme, adopted as a pilot in Chongqing city in 2013, is set to provide cover for 27 million rural residents and unemployed urban residents who have joined the local basic medical insurance programme, the China Daily reported.

According to the Chongqing Civil Affairs Department, in 2014, about 102,000 people in the city benefited from the new program, which reimbursed about 11 percent of each person’s medical bills.

By the end of the year, the programme, aimed at alleviating the financial burden of people with chronic or terminal illnesses, will cover all urban and rural residents who have joined China’s basic medical insurance system. The only exceptions will be people working in urban areas who have joined a different insurance programme, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, China’s top health authority.

The chronic diseases program will be adopted nationwide by the end of the year and will cover nearly 1.1 billion people, according to Yao Jianhong, an official at the State Council’s Medical Reform Office.

The finance ministry said the government will increase investment in medical insurance and encourage donations from wealthy individuals so the medical fund will keep pace with rising medical expenditure.

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