China / Society

Medical emergency plan aids thousands who cannot afford to pay

By Wang Xiaodong ( Updated: 2016-02-23 16:42

About 370,000 people have benefited from a medical emergency relief program since its launch in 2013, according to the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

The program is aimed at providing financial assistance for those whose identity is unclear or who cannot afford bills when they face life-threatening emergency conditions on the Chinese mainland, the commission said.

They include those who have lost the ability to work, those without income and the homeless.

In practice such people can undergo emergency treatment at hospitals which can apply for payment from the fund after treatment is complete. Hospitals must submit documents to prove that the patients meet conditions for the program.

Before bills are paid by the program, they should be met through basic medical insurance if patients are subscribers.

Last year the program helped more than 140,000 people, about 75 percent of whom were too poor to pay the bills, according to Zhou Jun, an official with the commission.

A man proposes to his girlfriend with a bouquet of cash in Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan province on Feb 21, 2016.

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