Re­form is key to solv­ing prob­lems, pre­mier says

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHAO YINAN zhaoy­i­nan@chi­

When Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang asked Niang Maox­ian for ad­vice on Thurs­day, the physi­cian didn’t hes­i­tate to give it.

“We want more med­i­cal de­vices,” she said. “It would be great if the govern­ment could pro­vide enough of them for 56 hos­pi­tals that are still short of equip­ment in our pre­fec­ture.”

The di­rec­tor of the ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy depart­ment at People’s Hospi­tal in the Huang­nan Ti­betan au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture in Qing­hai prov­ince made the ap­peal at a Na­tional People’s Congress panel dis­cus­sion.

Niang, from the Ti­betan eth­nic group, is a deputy to the top leg­is­la­ture.

The pre­mier took notes as he lis­tened to Niang. He said he will ask the govern­ment to fol­low up on the mat­ter. “We will def­i­nitely ad­dress the prob­lem (of med­i­cal equip­ment short­ages),” he said.

But to solve the prob­lem at its roots, the key is health­care re­form, which helps to al­lo­cate med­i­cal re­sources more ef­fi­ciently across the coun­try, Li said.

“Qing­hai has taken a lead in health­care re­form,” he said. “Its ex­pe­ri­ence can be pro­moted na­tion­wide.”

The prov­ince, with one of the largest im­pov­er­ished pop­u­la­tions in China, has taken a lead by in­creas­ing med­i­cal in­sur­ance cov­er­age and de­vel­op­ing lower-tier clin­ics.

Re­form will solve prob­lems in not only the med­i­cal sec­tor but else­where, the pre­mier said as he joined panel dis­cus­sions with law­mak­ers from Shan­dong and Qing­hai prov­inces.

With re­forms ex­pected to deepen, China will be able to achieve its eco­nomic tar­gets this year de­spite tough and com­pli­cated con­di­tions, Li said af­ter hear­ing sug­ges­tions from deputies. “The 1.3 bil­lion Chi­nese have a lot of po­ten­tial. We must con­tinue to re­lease div­i­dends of re­form and keep the econ­omy run­ning within a rea­son­able range,” Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang said.

The rea­son­able range, as pre­vi­ously ex­plained by Li, means that GDP growth should be no lower than 7.5 per­cent and in­fla­tion no higher than 3.5 per­cent year-on-year.

Like Niang, 12 other deputies from the two prov­inces voiced their sug­ges­tions, all say­ing that re­form should be the work pri­or­ity this year for the cen­tral and lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

Zhang Hui, a deputy and also mayor of Wei­hai in Shan­dong prov­ince, said in­no­va­tion is needed ur­gently in the de­vel­op­ment of fish­eries in dis­tant wa­ters, the city’s pri­mary in­dus­try.

Wei­hai is home to 313 dis­tant fish­ing ves­sels, com­pris­ing 15 per­cent of the na­tion’s to­tal, Zhang said.

How­ever, Zhang said the in­dus­try is un­der­de­vel­oped as China lags be­hind in build­ing the ves­sels re­quired and in the tech­nol­ogy for quick-freez­ing and ocean ship­ping.

Law­maker Hao Peng, gover­nor of Qing­hai prov­ince, re­called dif­fi­cult times dur­ing the first half of last year, and thought the cen­tral govern­ment would an­nounce short-term stim­u­lus mea­sures soon.

Dur­ing those times, Hao said he waited for the 7 pm news pro­gram ev­ery Wed­nes­day, when the state­ment from the lat­est State Coun­cil ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing was broad­cast.

“I hoped that I would sense any change in poli­cies from the pro­grams, but shortly af­ter­wards I re­al­ized we have to rely on re­form to mo­ti­vate the mar­ket, in­stead of stim­u­lus poli­cies” he said.

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