China’s Healthcare Policy A Timely Help for The Poor

Inequalities exist in the world.

When you get high-quality, brand-name eyeglasses and contacts in the United States (aka 美国配眼镜) with your international student health insurance (aka 留学生保险), when you visit the Grand Canyon with your U.S. travel insurance (aka 美国旅游保险), when you have the resources to get the HPV vaccine (aka hpv疫苗), to schedule a dental visit in America (aka 美国看牙), and to waive health insurance (aka 替换保险) at your university health center, many impecunious people have to face physiological problems.

When his heart felt uncomfortable four years ago, Ma Shengwu could hardly do anything but bearing the suffering by himself. “I was too poor to go to the hospital,” said Ma, 47, a villager in Biandangou Township of Wuzhong City in northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

“I had to save money to support my family.” It was not until late last year when his conditions worsened that he had to see the doctor. “My feet were swollen, and I could hardly breathe then,” Ma said. “I borrowed tens of thousands of yuan (1 yuan equals 15 cents) from friends.”

Ma received an operation, but surprisingly, the cost was less than 5,000 yuan, a very small scratch of the money he had borrowed in advance. The government reimbursed the rest of the cost, which totaled 140,000 yuan.

The Chinese government is trying to help those struggling under the poverty line because of illnesses with a healthcare project launched in 2016 to include the impoverished into the country’s medical reimbursement system.

In Ningxia, for instance, from January 2017 to April 2019, 43,800 impoverished people were hospitalized at a medical expense of 420 million yuan, but they only needed to pay about 32 million yuan, or about 7.6 percent of the total.

Since 2016, all impoverished residents were included in the country’s various medical insurance systems, said Zeng Yunguang, with the National Health Commission. A series of preferential policies were issued to lower their payment for medical treatment.

The project effectively tackled a pain in the neck for many rural residents, and people like Ma Shengwu no longer have to bear painful suffering and can go directly to hospitals without worrying about high costs.

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