China spends tril­lions to im­prove health­care

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

China has spent 5.64 tril­lion yuan ($871 bil­lion) in the re­form pe­riod since 2009 to im­prove its health­care sys­tem.

The health bud­get for 2016 is 1.24 tril­lion yuan, said the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion (NHFPC), adding that the av­er­age an­nual growth rate of med­i­cal in­put has sur­passed 20 per­cent over the past seven years.

The ul­ti­mate goal of health­care re­form is to cre­ate a sys­tem that fo­cuses on equal ac­cess to ba­sic pub­lic health ser­vices for all, the com­mis­sion said.

The bud­get is also used to pro­mote the re­form and up­grade of pub­lic hos­pi­tals at or above county-level. The cen­tral gov­ern­ment will grant each county 3 mil­lion yuan an­nu­ally to ac­com­plish the goal, while pro­vid­ing a lump-sum of 20 mil­lion yuan to ev­ery city, ac­cord­ing to the NHFPC.

China is also try­ing to cut the fi­nan­cial bur­den for poor peo­ple. Ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey by the NHFPC and the State Coun­cil’s Lead­ing Group Of­fice of Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment, there were 12.56 mil­lion house­holds in poverty di­rectly be­cause of un­af­ford­able med­i­cal bills by 2013, ac­count­ing for 42.4 per­cent of the to­tal poor on record. find

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