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China’s public health improves following reform

Updated: Dec 22,2015 8:23 PM     Xinhua

China’s key public health indicators, including life expectancy and maternal mortality, have improved following medical reform that began in 2009, the country’s top health official said on Dec 22.

Average life expectancy is estimated to be one year more in 2015 than in 2010 (74.83 years), said Li Bin, head of the National Health and Family Planning Commission.

When delivering a report to the ongoing bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the top legislature, Li said that maternal mortality had lowered to 21.7 per 100,000 in 2014 from 34.2 per 100,000 in 2008, and infant mortality to 8.9 per thousand in 2014 from 14.9 per thousand in 2008.

Meanwhile, the share of out-of-pocket medical spending in total health expenditure decreased from 35.3 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2014, she said, adding it is expected to fall to 30 percent by the end of this year.

From 2009 to 2014, government spending on health amounted to 4 trillion yuan, 1.2 trillion yuan coming from the central government. The medical insurance scheme now covers over 1.3 billion, with the coverage ratio stabilized at above 95 percent of the total population.

In 2014, the medical insurance reimbursement ratio for in-patient care stood at 80 percent for urban employees, 70 percent and 75 percent respectively for unemployed urban residents and rural residents.

Li said, a relatively complete systematic framework had been established since health reform began, and efforts will be made to deepen public hospital reform, and to consolidate the medical insurance system, among other measures in the future.

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