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Q&A: National portability of medical insurance


Updated: 2016-03-16 14:40:58


Q&A: National portability of medical insurance

A China Daily reporter asks a question at the news conference after the closing meeting of the fourth session of China's 12th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 16, 2016. [Photo by Wang Zhuangfei/chinadaily.com.cn]

China Daily: Ahead of the two sessions this year, China Daily and its app conducted an online voting survey, in which 24 million netizens participated. All the 10 questions on the survey are closely connected with people's daily life. Top of the list was how to achieve national portability of medical insurance schemes, which received 10 million votes from netizens. Mr. Premier, is there a timetable for us to achieve national portability of medical insurance?

Li Keqiang: I want to first thank you for conducting the survey, asking the people what the top concerns are in their daily lives. That will certainly help the government do its job better. I've also heard a lot about the retired elderly people moving to places away from their hometowns to live with their children. And they are even taking on the responsibility of taking care of their children's children. But when they get sick or hospitalized, they cannot easily get their medical expenses reimbursed in places where their expenses occur. It may seem a very concrete and specific issue. But when viewing it in the context of one single family, it could be a paramount issue.

The Chinese government is fully determined to achieve national portability of medical insurance schemes at a faster pace. This year we will basically achieve direct settlement of such expenses at the provincial level. And we also plan to use two years of time to achieve the direct settlement of hospitalized expenses by retired elderly people in places away from their hometowns, so as to remove this high concern in the minds of our people. This requires that all relevant government departments make tremendous efforts. All the government's work is to improve the well-being of our people. So we need to use the concrete wishes for a better life by our people to drive our development, and reform and test the results of our reform.