Wang Meirong, a resident from Hupingshan town in Zhangjiajie city, recently had to pay only 300 yuan ($45) of the 3,000-yuan hospital bill she received.
Wang can thank a local insurance system, designed for low-income families, for the discount. The town in northwestern Hunan province is home to 2,093 low-income households and 90 percent of their medical costs can be covered by the insurance.
Wang used to be hospitalized twice a month with a chronic disease. Each hospitalization cost the monthly income of her husband. Wang said she has recovered gradually and her family has paid off her medical debt thanks to the insurance system.
Local authorities in Hunan said guaranteed housing, education and healthcare are among the basic components of poverty alleviation. The province released a three-year action plan for guaranteed medical care for low-income residents back in November 2018.
During this year's National Day holiday from Oct 1-8, the 149 guesthouses in Zhushan village in Fenghuang county were reserved to capacity by visiting tourists. The tourists probably didn't know that many of the houses, which feature Miao ethnic characteristics, had once been renovated from dilapidated houses.
A team of volunteers from the provincial culture and tourism department helped to make the renovations possible. They visited the village in 2018 and helped local residents renovate the once-dangerous houses while leading the development of guesthouses.
Liao Bin came from a low-income family in Maxikou village in Luxi county. Her schooling ended after she completed primary school. Another volunteer team from the provincial capital of Changsha went to Hangzhou last August, where Liao's parents worked, to persuade Liao to continue schooling.
The team learned a lesson from Liao's story and encouraged local officials to use social resources for students in the village. Several volunteer organizations from Changsha have since held educational assistance activities in the village, donating school facilities and teaching students in fine arts, sports and English.
Hunan has continued to help students in recent years, at every level from preschool to postgraduate education. Students from impoverished families have been exempt from textbook fees and other charges thanks to new provincial policies implemented since 2018.
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