State Council to further cut fees, control farm chemicals
The State Council, at its Feb 8 executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, decided to cancel more administrative fees to ease the burden on enterprises and strengthen administrative reform in the construction industry.
The meeting also clarified measures to develop high-standard farmland and passed a draft regulation on control of farm chemicals across the country.
Plan to integrate medical insurance and maternal care
Basic medical insurance and maternity insurance will be merged for urban residents in 12 cities from the end of June this year as a pilot project, according to a circular issued by the State Council.
Medical insurance funds will cover the function of maternity insurance, including reproductive healthcare and birth allowance, it said.
The fund will be raised according to updated standards. The new premium employers would pay for employees will be the sum of the two insurance premiums.
Rule to help improve vaccine quality and ensure safety of vaccination
The State Council released a guideline to strengthen the management of China’s vaccine circulation and vaccination, aimed at improving vaccine quality and ensuring the safety of vaccination.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission was urged to establish a national expert advisory committee for an immunization program. It requires adjusting categories of vaccines, and gradually introducing more qualified, efficient and affordable vaccines into the State immunization program.
All regions should improve the compensation system of abnormal reactions in vaccinations, the guideline said.
China to improve green card policy
China will update its “green card” policy this year to make life easier for foreign residents, a source at the Ministry of Public Security confirmed on Feb 6.
With improved security features, the permanent resident permit is expected to guarantee more rights equal to those of Chinese citizens, such as when buying railway tickets, checking in at hotels and purchasing property.
China pledged to guarantee paid maternity and paternity leave
The National Health and Family Planning Commission issued a development plan for the country’s family planning during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) period. The plan called for promoting the implementation of maternity leave, nursing leave and related policies, and urged efforts to guarantee employees’ pay and other benefits during the period of extended maternity and paternity leave.
It also urged women to give birth at child-bearing ages and encouraged them to return to work after maternity leave. Employers are also encouraged to work out measures that are conducive for working mothers to balance the relationship between jobs and their families.
Visa-free pacts with 127 countries
According to the Ministry of Public Security, the number of outbound and inbound citizens from the mainland has been on the rise in recent years, reaching 273 million trips in 2016.
Since 2015, departments of public security across the nation have fully implemented administration streamlining in services to facilitate people’s travel.
So far, China has signed visa exemption agreements with 127 countries, and reached simplified processing of passports with many countries.
According to a December 2015 policy from the Ministry of Public Security, hukou and copies of application materials for outbound and inbound travel will not be required for mainland citizens, and related information can be submitted online.
China to establish medical centers at national and provincial levels
China is planning to establish national medical centers across the country and set up one regional center for comprehensive medical treatment in every province by 2020.
The National Health and Family Planning Commission announced its plan for medical centers during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).
Over the next five years, regional medical treatment centers will be set up in hospitals with advanced medical skills in six major regions, including the north and northeast of China, according to the plan.
By 2020, relying on the existing three-tier medical care system, national and regional medical centers should be functioning to improve the allocation and sharing of medical resources between different regions, and create proper conditions for the development of stratified medical care system.
Coordination efforts urged to assist people in difficulty
A recent circular issued by the State Council said the work to guarantee a basic livelihood for people in difficulties matters to fairness, morality and harmony in society, noting that there should be no decline or weakening in offering help.
The circular called for intensified efforts to identify people of such groups and streamline policies for assisting those affected by natural disasters. Also, the program will be launched to help rural residents who are caught in difficulties by serious illnesses.
Work coordination mechanisms at the county level will be established to guarantee a basic livelihood of impoverished people, according to the document.