The State Council recently released a circular on establishing a rehabilitation system aiding children with disabilities, based on a pre-existing regulation on assisting the disabled.
The system will be fully implemented as of Oct 1, 2018, and provincial-level authorities should draw up their respective assistance systems and corresponding policies by the end of September.
Noting that there is a multifaceted link between this work and the prospects of the concerned community, the well-being of all Chinese citizens, and social stability and development, the circular pressed for widely available guaranteed basic healing services for disabled kids, relieving burdens for their families.
The system will be closely connected with basic medical services and temporary assistance, among other social insurance systems, ensuring the concerned children will have access to timely assistance.
According to the circular, the system will be rounded out by 2020, forming an assistance system helmed by the Party committees, governments and the China Disabled Persons’ Federation, with coordination from all departments concerned and extensive participation of social sectors.
By 2025, the system will greet further improvements with robust service capacities and widespread advanced insurance catering to the needs of the disabled children’s community, the circular said.
The target cohort consists of eligible children at 0-6 years of age who suffer from visual, hearing or speech impairments, physical or mental disabilities, or autism.
That applies to disabled children raised in households with minimum subsistence allowances, registered poverty-stricken families and charity organizations, as well as disabled orphans, disabled children categorized as persons in abject poverty and those from households facing financial difficulties.
Authorities at county level and above will define their basic service items in line with the actual local circumstances, including surgery, auxiliary equipment and rehabilitation training for the purpose of mitigating dysfunction, providing functional improvement, enhancing self-care ability and improving social participation.
The aforementioned authorities are also responsible for formulating related benchmarks for guaranteed expenditures and establishing a dynamic adjustment mechanism with full autonomy, in accordance with local fiscal competence and the magnitude of the targeted community.
Funds for assisting disabled children will go to local governmental budgets, with moderate subsidies provided by the central government if necessary.
In addition, the work will be fully in the charge of local authorities, sitting high on their agendas and acting as a significant index for assessing administrative performance.
The China Disabled Persons’ Federation should work with the concerned departments to supervise its implementation, address issues arising in the process and report them to the State Council if necessary, and the latter will organize specific inspections in due time.