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Concern over hospital funding
(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-07 05:54

"I want him to give more financial support to these poor families to help them develop the economy and increase their income," Yin said.

The premier said that, by 2008, a new co-operative medical care system and medical assistance system would be in place in all rural areas.

The co-operative system, which will pool money from the central government, local governments and villagers to establish a foundation, will be used to cover parts of the medical costs of farmers.

However, the system, which reportedly has covered nearly 180 million rural residents in China, has not been implemented yet in the village of Yin Zuluan.

In China, there are nearly 900 million residents in rural areas. Due to a lack of money, about 60 to 80 per cent of those who pass away in western and central parts of China die at home instead of in hospitals, official investigations reveal.

Even in the areas where the co-operative system has already been established, residents are still very hesitant in going to see doctors.

For example, in Xishihe village of Junan County of East China's Shandong Province, farmers have to pay a lot even if they have been covered by the system, said Xu Youtian, the doctor of the village.

The co-operative system is only designed to pay part of the costs for medicines, which means the remaining cost of the overall treatment has to be paid by farmers, Xu noted.

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