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Special medical program helps poor patients with serious illnesses

Updated: Feb 26, 2021 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- As of 2020, a special program to help with the treatment of impoverished rural residents who suffer from serious illnesses had covered 30 diseases, notably reducing the financial burden on such patients, according to the National Health Commission on Feb 25.

It helped about 811,000 inpatients with their treatment last year, the commission said in a statement.

Currently, the program is accessible to over 80 million rural residents registered as experiencing financial difficulties and 18,000 medical institutions, covering the treatment of illnesses such as lung cancer, liver cancer, acute heart arrest, HIV/AIDS, severe mental disorder and childhood leukemia.

As of the end of 2020, relevant patients had seen their treatment costs fall by an average of 12.87 percent since the launch of the program. For some diseases, payments under the scheme are subject to a cap.

The program was first piloted in eight provincial-level regions in China in 2016 and expanded to all regions with registered poverty-stricken areas nationwide in 2017.

It is an important component of the country's poverty reduction efforts in the health sector.

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