Poor to re­ceive help to re­lieve the bur­den of dis­ease

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - BY YANG WANLI yang­wanli@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The top health depart­ment re­leased a plan on Fri­day to ease the bur­den of dis­ease in poor and re­mote ar­eas.

The plan will cover about 20 mil­lion poverty-stricken peo­ple in 26 pro­vin­cial re­gions, i nclud­ing Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yun­nan and Ti­bet, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

Ma­jor ill­nesses like heart at­tacks, chronic dis­eases like di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure, and se­vere dis­eases like can­cer are three ma­jor tar­gets in the plan.

Un­der the four-year plan, the com­mis­sion will choose pi­lot hospitals and set pro­to­col to en­sure that ev­ery ma­jor ill­ness has a cer­tain treat­ment and stan­dard fee.

Apart from im­prov­ing med­i­cal treat­ment in pi­lot hospitals, pri­or­ity will be given to poor pa­tients who have those dis­eases.

A health card will be linked to ev­ery res­i­dent whose an­nual in­come is be­low the coun­try’s poverty thresh­old of 3,000 yuan ($436) in those re­gions. An­nual health checks will be avail­able to those with a card.

More­over, the com­mis­sion will en­cour­age lo­cal health de­part­ments to as­sign “fam­ily doc­tors” to fol­low the health con­di­tions of card hold­ers with chronic dis­eases.

For poor fam­i­lies with pa­tients suf­fer­ing from seri- ous dis­eases, the com­mis­sion will co­op­er­ate with lo­cal so­cial se­cu­rity and fi­nan­cial sec­tors to give ex­tra sup­port.

“Nearly half of China’s poverty is a re­sult of the bur­den of dis­ease,” said Wang Peian, vice-min­is­ter of the com­mis­sion.

The com­mis­sion has car­ried out sur­veys and will draft a guideline to help each re­gion.

“Dis­ease and poverty are two cru­cial ele­ments that de­ter­mine peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness. The plan will be an im­por­tant step for the whole coun­try to strive for pros­per­ity,” said Xia Geng­sheng, an of­fi­cial from the State Coun­cil Lead­ing Group Of­fice of Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion and Devel­op­ment.

China has lifted nearly 700 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty dur­ing the past 30 years. It still had more than 55 mil­lion peo­ple liv­ing in poverty at the end of 2015, ac­cord­ing to a white pa­per is­sued last year.


Cui De­jun (right), a doc­tor spe­cial­iz­ing in di­ges­tive sys­tems, checks an el­derly woman in Chang­shun, Guizhou prov­ince, this month, as part of the prov­ince’s poverty-al­le­vi­a­tion ef­forts.

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