A number of ministries responded to a series of public concerns over the past week concerning education, health and reconstruction.
Ministry responds on school-entry queries
The Ministry of Education recently responded to questions from parents of schoolchildren regarding entry into primary school. The ministry responded that all children from the age of six should receive compulsory education. For those living in poorer areas or facing other restrictions, school-entry age can be put off by one year, to seven. For children at school age who need to leave school for a period of time due to health-related reasons, their parents need to apply for school leave and get it approved. The ministry said that schools have no mandate to reject pupils due to reasons related to school rolls, etc.
Public hospital reform will boost healthcare
The National Health and Family Planning Commission said it will speed up efforts to improve public hospital management in order to deepen healthcare reform, as the State Council, China’s Cabinet, released a guideline that vows to set up a modern hospital management system with clear responsibilities, scientific governance, efficient operation and strong supervision by 2020.
Wang Hesheng, director of the medical reform office under the State Council, said at a news conference on July 26 that the guideline has public health at its core, keeping public hospitals non-profit, and creating a modern hospital management system.
He said that the price of surgery, rehabilitation therapy, nursing care and traditional Chinese medicine treatment will be increased and that the fees for using medical equipment will be lowered.
More than 2,300 public hospitals nationwide participated in healthcare reform in 2016, according to a report issued by the healthcare reform leading group under the State Council.
The guidelines request governments at all levels to draft relevant reform plans, for example, to issue policies regarding the hierarchical medical system. Wang said this will help channel resources to grassroots health institutions, and ease the burden of registration and operations in public hospitals.
Rebuilding of homes nearly completed
More than 93 percent of the homes that were destroyed in natural disasters in 2016 have been rebuilt but there are 10 provinces that are still working on reconstruction, Pang Chenmin, an official from the Ministry of Civil Affairs, stated at a news conference organized by the State Council’s Information Office on July 25.
He said that the Civil Affairs Ministry is ready to work together with nine ministries, including the National Development and Reform Commission, to review the unfinished reconstruction programs and make sure that all homes destroyed in 2016 in natural disasters are reconstructed by the end of this year.
According to Pang, in 2016, 142,000 homes were destroyed in natural disasters such as floods, landslides, typhoons, earthquakes and mudslides.
So far 132,000 houses have been reconstructed. Of the 29 provinces that undertook reconstruction programs, 19 have completed their reconstruction program.
Call for tax policies to be fully delivered
Wang Jun, director of the State Administration of Taxation, stressed during a recent visit to the cities of Nanjing and Xuzhou in Jiangsu province that tax departments at all levels should fully implement efforts in streamlining administration, improve public services and delegate power to lower tiers. He stressed that taxation departments need to provide better services to taxpayers through fully implementing tax incentives that are already issued, and play a positive role in the country’s supply side reform.