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Greater healthcare benefits in sight

Updated: Jul 08,2021 04:40 PM

China will step up efforts to provide efficient and convenient medical insurance services, with a focus on hundreds of millions among the migrant population, especially groups such as rural migrant workers, according to the State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on July 7.

"Recently released data from the seventh national census showed China has a migrant population of nearly 400 million. To catch up with the reality, efforts should be accelerated to achieve reimbursement for hospitalization and outpatient medical bills on a cross-regional basis, giving them easier access to such services," Premier Li said.

The meeting set a timeline for the move — over 60 percent of counties in each province should incorporate at least one institution in the cross-province connected system for general outpatient fees by the end of this year, and by the end of next year, each county should have at least one designated medical institution that can settle cross-provincial medical expenses, including outpatient medical bills.

"The hundreds of millions of migrants, especially groups such as rural migrant workers, still have to return to the place of their household registration to get medical bills reimbursed," he said. "Medical services should be improved to better safeguard their health and boost their sense of well-being."

Improve budget management

The Premier also called for further efforts to optimize total budget management in designated medical institutions, and summarize and promote experiences from pilot programs.

Private medical institutions that apply to become designated medical institution should be treated equally, Premier Li urged. Commercial insurance institutions should be introduced into medical insurance services to enrich insurance varieties, and improve the actuarial level of medical insurance.

Discretion of medical payments will be regulated to prevent medical institutions from abruptly cutting back on treatment toward the end of the year.

At the same time, efforts should be made to standardize and optimize the medical insurance handling process, streamline procedures and materials. An easier reimbursement process with one notification and one form at a single window will be promoted.

Internet Plus will also be used to achieve online and mobile services.

Strengthen supervision

Premier Li underscored supervision of the use of medical insurance funds over the whole process, and stressed improving related laws and regulations, and cracking down on fraudulent practices such as cheating, inducing patients to visit hospitals, faking invoices and abusing drugs.

Calling the funds people’s "life saver", the Premier asked for strengthened supervision over the whole process, with severe punishments for wrongdoings in accordance with the law.

Premier Li urged solid efforts to implement the arrangements made at the meeting to further enhance the efficiency of medical insurance services for people’s convenience.

"The Party and the government have been committed to putting people’s lives as the top priority. The people consider life and health extremely important, for which we must work resolutely to satisfy their demand," the Premier said.