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Child medical insurance
China Daily  Updated: 2006-03-16 05:47

To provide security for a child's medical treatment is a fundamental human right, says a commentary in the Beijing News. An excerpt follows:

Zhu Zonghan, a member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, presented a motion on building a children's medical insurance system for three consecutive years. Though relevant departments have given no positive response the past two years, he brought up this topic again this year. He said that the lives of children are fragile and once they fall ill, many of the families are not able to shoulder the cost of medical treatment. He suggests that a government-led medical insurance system for children be built.

This is an important issue for the overall protection of children.

Children are a disadvantaged group from a biological perspective. From the angle of sociology, they are the new strength and hope of the human race, as well as the centre of care and love for their families. Children's issues have long been a focus for public attention. A society and country that pursues harmonious development should of course value and give special protection to children's rights and interests.

The 1959 UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child has proclaimed the basic rights children should enjoy. A UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted in 1989 and so far more than 190 countries have ratified it. In 1990 China signed the convention and it was ratified by the National People's Congress. During the same year, the Law on the Protection of Minors was adopted in China.

According to the convention, children should enjoy the rights of survival, development, protection and participation. And the issue of children's medical treatment at least involves the first three kinds of rights. The present situation in China is that a few medical treatment mutual funds have been established in cities like Shanghai and Beijing, but in most places this issue has not been included in the social welfare system.

Many children are threatened by serious diseases like leukaemia. The disease can be cured, but treatment is hugely expensive. Since there is no children's medical security system, families of these children easily suffer the double plight of economic and psychological crisis.

Establishing a children's medical security system favours all families of sick children.

To provide security for a child's medical treatment is not only a technical issue of social management, but also a show of respecting human rights.

(China Daily 03/16/2006 page4)

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