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China’s emergency medical funds help 330,000 people

Updated: Jan 12,2015 8:03 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Almost 330,000 financially disadvantaged people received assistance from the nation’s emergency medical funds over the past two years, China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission said on Jan 12.

The commission said in a statement that the funds have subsidized medical fees totaling 1.6 billion yuan (about $257.6 million) since they were established by the State Council in March 2013.

The funds are used to cover emergency medical treatments for acute illnesses or serious injuries among the poor and patients whose identities have not been confirmed, according to a guideline of the State Council.

Not only have the funds helped patients themselves, but they also have relieved medical services of the overdue fees incurred by those patients, said Mao Qunan, a spokesman with the commission, at a press conference.

In 2013, the funds were set up as part of government efforts to help patients whose inability to pay medical bills had resulted in hospitals ignoring them or refusing treatment.

Praising the funds as a concrete step in dealing with real problems, Mao said the commission will strive to refine the application and examination services for the funds this year.

The funds are jointly financed by government revenue and public donations, according to the guideline.