Deputies hail policies for improving people's livelihood

By Zhang Jiaqi and Zhang Liying
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, March 8, 2019
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Deputies from across China hailed the policies for improving people's livelihood revealed in the 2019 government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang at the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5.

Tang Xiaoming, an NPC deputy and Party secretary of Dingxi city, China's Gansu province. [Photo by Zhang Jiaqi/]

Described as a "gift pack of improving public wellbeing," the inspiring moves planned by the government involve education, medical services, rural revitalization and poverty alleviation.

"There were over 50 rounds of applauses during Premier Li's delivery of the government work report, and every time [he] mentioned policies for improving people's livelihood, there was warm applause among the deputies," said Tang Xiaoming, Party secretary of Dingxi city in Gansu province.

Tang was most impressed and encouraged by the content related to poverty alleviation, especially the assurance that "support policies that apply to counties and populations that have recently been lifted out of poverty will be maintained for a period to consolidate progress in poverty alleviation."

The number of China's rural poor population fell by 13.86 million in 2018, among which Dingxi city saw 155,800 people escaping poverty. With another 230,000 people still to be lifted out of poverty across the whole city, Tang submitted a motion to the NPC calling for increased support for industrial development in poverty-stricken areas.

In addition, Tang was also excited to note the report mentioned the government would support the development of traditional Chinese medicine. "As a city producing a large amount of traditional Chinese medical herbs," Dingxi had an obvious advantage in using this to further alleviate local poverty.

Actually, the support to traditional Chinese medicine is only part of the efforts the government aims to adopt in improving basic medical services over the coming year. As NPC deputy Feng Xiaomin, head of the Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Yichun city, Heilongjiang province, noted, the report offers  many beneficial policies in the medical service sector.

Feng Xiaomin, an NPC deputy and head of the Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Yichun city, Heilongjiang province. [Photo by Zhang Jiaqi/]

According to the report, government subsidies for resident medical insurance will be raised by an average of 30 yuan per person, and the government will raise the reimbursement rate of serious diseases from 50 to 60 percent.

Besides, the report also included content related to cancer prevention this year, which is "a big gift for tens of millions of families with cancer patients," Feng added.

Disease and birth defect prevention is actually at the heart of one of the motions she seeks to have considered at the NPC meeting.

"The patients should be equipped with necessary health knowledge and the awareness of disease prevention," Feng said, emphasizing that, by doing so, patients with cancer could receive early screening, diagnosis and treatment as the report had stated.

Apart from poverty alleviation and medical services, deputies also spoke highly of measures for promoting education, which includes integrated development of urban and rural compulsory education, moving faster to improve conditions in rural schools, ensuring access to education for children living with their migrant worker parents in cities, and so on.

As an NPC deputy who has long been caring for the growth and education of children, Song Yaping applauded the report's emphasis on the fundamental role of education in stopping poverty from being passed onto the next generation.

"Poverty reduction should start with children and education," Song said, adding that it is why she is suggesting encouragement be given for more qualified art teachers to teach in remote and mountainous regions. As vice president of the Shaanxi Artists Association, she goes to see left-behind children in rural areas and offers them art classes every year.

With so many policies for improving people's livelihood on the horizon, Zhu Jing, director of the School of Economics and Management at Nanjing Agricultural University, said she was particularly impressed that, despite many challenges in view, the government decided to take substantial measures to improve people's living standards and undertake concrete measures to deliver a solid performance across the board in this regard.

"Although the pressure of maintaining a balanced budget will grow this year, inputs to ensure basic living standards will only be increased and not cut," Premier Li's 2019 government work report declared.

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