Officials Highlight Basic Healthcare as Crucial for Poverty Alleviation

May 28, 2018
Editor: Wang Yue

China's National Health Commission (NHC) held in Beijing a meeting of leading groups involved in development, poverty alleviation and cooperative assistance on April 20 to define the key tasks of its work in these areas.

At the meeting, officials implemented the decisions of the central government and the State Council in poverty alleviation and pointed out that guaranteed basic healthcare is an essential standard enabling more people to shake off poverty.

The guaranteed basic healthcare relates to three aspects, commented officials.

First, basic medical insurance, critical illness insurance and medical aid systems should cover all rural people living in poverty to ensure that they can improve their situation even after suffering from critical illness and chronic diseases.

Second, the primary medical and health service system should be sound, and the service facilities of township health centers and village clinics should be up to standard. Essential drugs should be available, and general practitioners and qualified village doctors should be present in rural areas.

Third, officials should give priority to providing medical services to people in rural areas to ensure access to basic public healthcare services such as patient records, disease prevention, health education and health management.

The meeting also gave specific advice for further promoting healthcare services in rural areas.

For the people who are impoverished, a supplemental medical security policy should be made available to raise the reimbursement rate for those who are outpatients or suffering from serious, special and long-term chronic diseases.

This policy should adhere to the basic principle of "meeting people's basic living needs and providing a last resort for people to fall back onto in case of special difficulties."

For those rural people who become impoverished because of serious disease, officials should do their best to integrate them into the scope of the health-related poverty alleviation policy.

Finally, normal rural residents, the insurance system for serious illness should be improved; accurate payment measures such as lowering the pay line, raising the reimbursement rate, and canceling the top line should be adopted; and, a protection mechanism against major diseases to prevent serious illness from dragging families into poverty should be established.

At the meeting, a number of demands were put forward by attendees.

First, the health-related poverty-alleviation project should be connected with the strategy of rural revitalization and the construction of a healthy countryside. More funds and policies about healthcare should be first invested and implemented into poor areas.

It is necessary to improve the service facilities of township health centers and village clinics, strengthen the training of grass-roots health personnel and implement the integration of county and villages to build an Internet + Healthcare model in order to enhance the capacity of primary-level medical and health services.

Moreover, officials should make full use of the political advantages of alleviating poverty and uniting all departments and officials to provide an all-round healthcare service for impoverished people in several fields such as health education, disease prevention, chronic diseases management, tiered medical services and rehabilitation guidance.

Furthermore, it is important to carry out a patriotic hygiene campaign in depth and work continuously to improve rural settlements, strengthen public health and disease prevention and guide rural residents to form a healthy lifestyle.

Officials should strive to achieve remarkable results in building healthy countryside in poor areas in three years, said a spokesperson at the meeting.

(Source: Health News/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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