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China pledges universal health service for poverty-stricken population

Updated: Jun 21,2016 9:49 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — Chinese authorities on June 21 issued a document on poverty relief, pledging universal access to basic medical and health services.

The document, jointly issued by 15 governmental agencies including the the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, pledged to ensure such universal services by 2020.

It requires medical services to be improved and medical insurance and social security systems to be streamlined.

According to the document, a campaign will treat poor, rural people with major, curable diseases, and there are specific arrangements for patients with chronic complaints who need long-term treatment or rehabilitation.

Wang Pei’an, deputy head of the NHFPC, said the measures would provide affordable, accessible and effective treatment.

As of 2015, there were only 3.66 hospital beds and 1.28 licensed medical workers on average for every thousand people in China’s 832 impoverished counties, well below the country’s average level.

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