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CHINA RAISING ITS SUBSIDIES FOR HEALTH COVERAGE TO HELP RURAL AREAS HIT BY HEALTHCARE EXPENDITURES

Chinese government is keen to enhance its social safety net through raising subsidies for basic medical coverage for all. Those subsidies will be increased by 40 yuan to 320 yuan this year and will be allocated among residents in both rural and urban areas, as the Chinese Ministry of Finance said.

Due to high out-of-pocket expenditures which force poor people in rural areas to spend so much money for covering healthcare costs, the government is driving its subsidies for only relatively mild illnesses and not catastrophic diseases to rural residents, who are going to receive more help from the administration.

According to the experts, China’s attempt to rebalance the disparity in social-insurance coverage will help the population spend more, a thing that can stimulate economic growth. In 2009, the government tried to set up an universal health insurance system to cover its citizens and enhance the access to care. Unfortunately, this healthcare reform has shown its lacks. Robin Kerawala, a pharmaceutical expert and co-founding partner of Shanghai-based consultancy SmithStreet, argued that people get an higher health coverage in urban areas than those in rural areas.

People from the counties still travel across the country to city hospitals, because treatments at home are not available or are not enough compared to urban standards. The result has been overcrowded city hospitals, where people spend days and even weeks waiting for appointments in overflowing waiting rooms.

The Chinese administration is trying to get a better coverage through a funding system that relies on a mix of employee and employer contributions. According to the Ministry of Finance, contributions to China's social insurance fund, including medical, pension and unemployment are increasing. Indeed, each resident will contribute 20 yuan more to his or her social insurance this year.

 

The gLAWcal Team

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

(Source: The Wall Street Journal)

This news has been realized by gLAWcal—Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy and the University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy which are both beneficiaries of the European Union Research Executive Agency IRSES Project “Liberalism in Between Europe And China” (LIBEAC) coordinated by Aix-Marseille University (CEPERC). This work has been realized in the framework of Workpackages 4, coordinated by University Institute of European Studies (IUSE) in Turin, Italy.