Full Text: Progress in China's Human Rights in 2013

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The urban and rural residents' medical burden resulting from serious illnesses has been greatly mitigated, because of the establishment of the medical care system for major and very serious illnesses and the smooth progress of the pilot projects for serious illness insurance for urban and rural residents. In 2012 six ministries, including the National Development and Reform Commission, jointly issued Guiding Opinions on Launching Serious Illness Insurance for Rural and Non-working Residents. So far, serious illness insurance has been piloted in 28 provincial-level administrative areas, and widely implemented in eight of them. In 2013 some 20 major diseases including lung cancer and gastric cancer were included in the serious illness insurance; children's phenylketonuria and hypospadias were included in the serious illness insurance under the new rural cooperative medical care system, bringing the number of serious diseases covered by the system to 22.

Steady development has been seen in unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance, which are playing an increasingly bigger role in helping the insured to maintain their living standards and obtain medical treatment and maternity protection. At the end of 2013 some 164.17 million people were covered by unemployment insurance, an increase of 11.92 million over the end of 2012; 199.17 million people had access to work-related injury insurance, among whom 72.63 million were migrant workers, an increase of 9.07 million and 840,000 people as compared with 2012, respectively. As many as 163.92 million people were covered by maternity insurance, an increase of 9.63 million over 2012. In 2013 some 4.17 million people benefited from unemployment insurance of different durations, and 1.97 million people received unemployment insurance allowances at the end of the year, with an average amount of 759 yuan per month, up 60.3 yuan or 8.5 percent over the previous year.

The subsistence allowance system has been further improved. By the end of 2013 there were altogether 20.613 million urban recipients of the subsistence allowance. The average amount of the allowance was 373 yuan per person per month, the amount actually paid was 252 yuan, and a total of 72.42 billion yuan in allowances was extended in 2013, up 13.8 percent, 1.3 percent and 7.4 percent over 2012, respectively. By the end of 2013 there were 53.821 million rural recipients, making up 6.1 percent of the rural population; the average amount of the allowance was 2,434 yuan per person per year, the amount actually paid was 111 yuan per person per month, and a total of 84.19 billion yuan of allowances was extended, up 18.7 percent, 2.9 percent and 17.3 percent over 2012, respectively. Altogether 5.382 million rural people enjoyed the "five guarantees" (food, clothing, medical care, housing and burial expenses) across the country, with those living in nursing homes receiving an average of 4,685 yuan per person per year, those living on their own an average of 3,499 yuan per person per year, totaling 16.16 billion yuan of the "five guarantee" funds spent in the year, up 15.4 percent, 16.3 percent and 11.5 percent, respectively, over 2012.

It is the last safety net of social security rights to provide social assistance to and meet the basic subsistence needs of people in poverty, caused by natural disasters, loss of labor capacity, or due to other reasons. By the end of 2013 some 26 provincial-level administrative areas had formulated or improved their own temporary assistance policies. In 2013 some 39.37 million households received temporary assistance. An increasing number of people are benefiting from medical aid, and the target groups are gradually expanding from urban and rural recipients of subsistence allowances and people enjoying the "five guarantees" to groups with special difficulties including low-income patients with serious illnesses, people with severe disabilities and senior citizens from low-income households. A total of 25.76 billion yuan in medical aid funds was extended in 2013, benefiting 26.39 million people.

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