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Free COVID-19 treatment helps anti-poverty effort

Updated: Nov 22,2020 03:08 PM    CGTN

A vital part of poverty eradication in China has been improving healthcare coverage for the poorest people. And that has been put to the test by the pandemic.

In some countries without proper health insurance systems, paying for coronavirus treatment can be a problem. China's central government is making sure that in this case, everyone will be treated even if they can't afford to pay themselves.

Vice-Minister of Health Li Bin said: "According to reports we've received, outbreaks in poor regions were very quickly brought under control. Prevention and control methods helped."

The pandemic created concern that it might slow progress in poverty eradication and improving health care. Officials told CGTN, that pandemic control and previous injections of funds have helped prevent that.

Li said: "We make sure each township has a qualified medical center, an equipped medical room and a qualified doctor in place."

And the more the pandemic is contained, the economic production can continue. Since 2018, the central government has invested 12 billion yuan, or about $1.8 billion, each year in health care for people in the poorest regions.

Deputy Administrator National Healthcare Security Administration Chen Jinfu said that "We continue to work with other departments and share information on health care coverage making sure no one is left out."

According to official data, China now has the world's largest basic health care network. It covers 95 percent of the population reaching 13.5 billion people. Officials say they will continue to lower the costs of medical bills.

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