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Wu Yi apologizes to lawmakers for high medical expenses

Source: Xinhuanet | 03-08-2007 09:42

Special Report:   2007 NPC & CPPCC sessions

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China's Vice Premier Wu Yi apologized to lawmakers on Wednesday for failing to check soaring medical expenses.

"People are dissatisfied, and I feel guilty for that. I should apologize to you," Wu said at a panel discussion with lawmakers on the sidelines of the Fifth Session of the Tenth National People's Congress (NPC).

Wu, who had successfully steered China's negotiations into the World Trade Organization, is the only female vice premier in China's cabinet. Her jurisdiction includes health and medical services.

Rising medical expenditure has become one of Chinese people's major concerns. And frequent accidents caused by substandard food and medicine added to people's misery.

"Food and drug safety concerns people's health and life safety," Wu said, pledging to the lawmakers that the government will make utmost efforts to tackle existing problems.

Statistics showed that nearly 70 percent of China's food producers are small factories or workshops. More than 85 percent of China's drug manufacturers are small-sized companies with annual sales revenue less than 100 million yuan (about 12.9 million U.S. dollars).

She promised that the government will, in this year, tighten the supervision over small workshops, food stores, stalls and eateries, where food poisoning accidents are most likely to happen.

The government will also tighten the monitoring of the food and drug businesses in the production and distribution fields, Wu said.

She also promised more efforts to address the problems in the medicine market and said that the country's drug watchdog will improve administration on drug research and production.


Editor:Du Xiaodan