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Premier stresses benefits of medical reform for migrant workers

Updated: Oct 12,2017 7:33 AM

At the State Council executive meeting on Oct 9, Premier Li Keqiang urged related authorities to continue expanding the coverage of basic medical insurance to include more grassroots medical institutes in the system.

The move is aimed at resolving the cross-region settlement of medical insurance for migrant workers and people engaging in mass entrepreneurship and innovation, so that their medical expenses can be settled directly where they are incurred.

Most migrant workers have to go back to hospitals in their hometowns for treatment, where they are covered by basic medical insurance. Therefore, they are often reluctant to receive treatment. “We must ensure that over 100 million migrant workers can enjoy the benefits of healthcare insurance reform,” said the Premier.

Building a nationwide information network for basic health insurance was the No 1 topic for people’s lives voted by netizens during the two sessions in 2016. While meeting the press, Premier Li promised to make possible in two years direct settlement of hospital expenses for retired elderly people beyond their hometowns.

And in his government work report this year, the Premier said the government will “accelerate building a nationwide information network for basic health insurance to directly settle healthcare costs.”

By the end of September, all province-level areas were connected to the nationwide system for cross-region settlement of medical insurance, covering all participants of basic health insurance and the New Rural Cooperative Medical Insurance.

Besides elderly people who live with their children away from their hometowns, migrant workers are the largest group for cross-region medical treatment, the Premier noted.

With the progress of urbanization, more migrant workers will come to urban areas to seek employment. “Solving the issue of cross-region settlement of medical insurance will not only guarantee their health, promote social fairness and justice, but also will improve the competitiveness of their enterprises,” said the Premier.

The meeting decided to accelerate the sharing and integration of medical insurance information systems, and actively introduce commercial healthcare insurance to improve the service at medical institutes.

Premier Li also asked authorities to use the internet, mobile terminals and other tools to interpret and publicize policies, rules and procedures in cross-region settlement of medical insurance.