A resident welcomes Premier Li Keqiang to Taipingzhuang village, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on March 27, 2014.[Photo/ China News Service]
Residents of Taipingzhuang village, in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, are now fully covered for medical treatment from a brand new clinic, following Premier Li Keqiang’s visit last year.
Covering an area of 90 square meters, the clinic has replaced the previous one that only had space for several chairs and could only treat minor ailments.
Meng Xiansen, an old village doctor in his 60s, still remembers the day Premier Li visited the remote clinic.
“The Premier is quite easygoing and he asked me if I charge extra fees when selling medicines to villagers, if I charge for medical treatment, and if the government provides enough subsidies,” Meng recalled.
Meng said that the Premier asked about villagers getting the necessary medical services within the village.
This had been a problem in the past for Meng and his son.
Though the father and son have been regarded by residents as saviors over the past decades, their poorly-equipped clinic could only deal with very minor illnesses.
Sometimes, the villagers had to take a long bus journey and get treated in hospitals in the town or the city.
“You should strive to make it possible for villagers to get medical treatment in the village,” Premier Li told Meng and his son, hailing them as the defenders of good health.
In fact, the Premier has always been concerned about guaranteeing proper and convenient treatment for rural residents.
He urged more village doctors to be available at a State Council Executive Meeting in January.
The meeting made several key decisions, including that there should be at least one village doctor serving every 1,000 rural residents nationwide. It also decided that village clinics can upgrade equipment with government subsidies or through private means, and village doctors should have regular free training.
The Premier also visited a village clinic in Pudong village in Liping during his inspection tour of Guizhou province before the Spring Festival.
Discovering that the two village doctors still had to do farm work guarantee an income, the Premier promised that this year’s basic public health services funds for the grassroots will be used to subsidize the village doctors.
Meng and his son are just two of the beneficiaries.
Meng said now that the medicine prices are kept stable, villagers are treated for free.
The new clinic cost 145,000 yuan ($23,000) and is already proving a good investment.
“With larger clinic and more hospital beds, we are now be able to get treated for illnesses without going outside of the village,” said Li Shixiu, a villager who met the Premier during his visit.
The Premier steps into a village kitchen during his visit to Taipingzhuang on March 27, 2014.[Photo/ China News Service]
Doctor Meng Xiansen gives medicine to a villager in the newly-built clinic on Feb 13, 2015. Meng’s busy daily routine includes visiting six homes.[Photo/ China News Service]