China Deepens Basic Healthcare Service Reform for Migrants
   2013-12-16 20:42:26      Web Editor: Guo

A Chinese official is hailing a new project put together by China's National Health and Family Planning Commission, which is meant to provide more healthcare services to migrants.

CRI's Liu Kun has the details.


Under the new policy, migrants living in a certain area for over six months will have their own health file set up and maintained by the government.

Migrant children will be provided with preventive vaccination, and pregnant and delivering women with healthcare management.

Wang Qian is the head of the migrant population management division at the Commission.

"We selected 40 cities and regions in the country with a considerable amount of migrating populations in which to start trials of this new project. The project covers one-fifths of the entire migrant population in the country."

The new policy involves seven different areas, including offering seminars on infectious disease prevention and treatment in main agglomerating areas for migrants, organizing free clinics to migrants for infectious diseases, and improving sanitation conditions in rural-urban fringe areas.

Wang Qian says the Commission chose these services for the trial run of the project because they represent the primary needs of the migrants who are mostly young adults.

"Basic healthcare services cover 43 kinds under 11 general categories. We chose these seven areas because they are the most urgently needed for migrants. We will immediately start establishing health files for migrants and offering preventive vaccination to them. Among the 11 general categories, prevention and treatment of senile diseases is not a pressing concern for migrants."

By the end of 2012, the country's migrant population reached 236 million, about one-sixth of the entire Chinese population.

The burgeoning number of migrants has contributed greatly to the country's thriving economy. At the same time, however, it has also been altering the country's population pattern and posing severe challenges to governmental healthcare management.

Wang Qian admits that currently, migrants do not have the same access to healthcare services as registered permanent residents in a certain area.

"Frankly speaking, we have been investigating the degree with which migrants have been accessing national basic healthcare services. It turns out that they have not had as much access as permanent residents. What migrants are most concerned about are the job market conditions, housing conditions and educational resources for their children. Most migrants are young adults."

Wang further points out that local governments are usually unable to provide basic health services to migrants because healthcare facilities at local levels have only been designed to facilitate the registered permanent resident population.

In Beijing, only Chaoyang and Fengtai districts have been included in the trial project.

For CRI, this is Liu Kun.


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