China to continue to improve rural medical services

Updated: 2012-02-28 10:56


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BEIJING - China will continue to improve medical services in rural areas and annual subsidies provided by governments at all levels will reach 240 yuan ($38) per person in 2012, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said at a press conference Monday.

More than 95 percent of rural residents will be covered by medical insurance, and pilot programs addressing major diseases will be improved, the MOH said.

Yang Qing, director of the rural health department of the MOH, said that pilot programs for preventing and curing major diseases have made progress, and those programs for preventing congenital heart disease and leukemia in children were carried out across China in 2011.

"The department has been making efforts to prevent rural residents from suffering through expensive medical costs," Yang added.

China started the New Rural Cooperative Medical Care System in 2003 to offer affordable medical services to the country's rural residents.

According to the MOH, 832 million people in rural areas, or more than 97 percent of the total, were covered by the rural medical system in 2011, and annual subsidies per person provided by governments were raised from 120 yuan in 2009 to 200 yuan in 2011.