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China passes new medical reform plan

Source: Xinhua | 01-22-2009 07:58

BEIJING, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council, or Cabinet, passed a long awaited medical reform plan which promised to spend 850 billion yuan (123 billion U.S. dollars) by 2011 to provide universal medical service to the country's 1.3 billion population.

China's State Council, or Cabinet, passed a long awaited medical reform plan which promised to spend 850 billion yuan (123 billion U.S. dollars) by 2011 to provide universal medical service to the country's 1.3 billion population.(Photo:
China's State Council, or Cabinet, passed a long awaited 
medical reform plan which promised to spend 850 billion 
yuan (123 billion U.S. dollars) by 2011 to provide universal 
medical service to the country's 1.3 billion population.

The plan was studied and passed at Wednesday's executive meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao.

Medical reform has been deliberated by authorities since 2006.

Growing public criticism of soaring medical fees, a lack of access to affordable medical services, poor doctor-patient relationship and low medical insurance coverage compelled the government to launch the new round of reforms.

According to the reform plan, authorities would take measures within three years to provide basic medical security to all Chinese in urban and rural areas, improve the quality of medical services, and make medical services more accessible and affordable for ordinary people.