Orphans from Yushu receive free medical insurance

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, May 26, 2010
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More than 1,600 orphans from Yushu, a Tibetan prefecture in Qinghai Province devastated by earthquake in April, have received one year of free medical insurance for 12 critical illnesses thanks to joint efforts by the government and charity organizations.

The new program was jointly launched by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the China Children Insurance Foundation (CCIF). It is designed for all healthy Chinese orphans aged under 18 who have registered with the MCA.

The insurance is valid for a year from May 16. Each insured orphan is covered for 100,000 yuan at a premium of 50 yuan (about 7.5 U.S. dollars) per year, said Hu Haidi, the CCIF managing director.

The 12 illnesses covered are: malignant tumors (including leukemia); organ and stem cell transplant; acute kidney failure; aplastic anemia; benign brain tumors; acute hepatitis; sequelae of cerebritis or meningitis; infantile paralysis; serious juvenile rheumatoid arthritis; serious Kawasaki disease; Myasthenia Gravis; and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

By the end of April, the insurance had been given to more than 20,000 orphans in Beijing, Tianjin, Qinghai and Shanxi, and other places. Of them, 1,625 are from Yushu.

"We plan to extend the insurance coverage to all 700,000 officially registered orphans in China. But the children in Yushu are obviously on the top of our applicant list," said Hu.

CCIF launched the "Heart One Plus One" program on Tuesday to solicit donations to buy the insurance for the orphans.

The public and businesses can make a donation online and through mobile text messages, as well as through banks and post offices.

Information on how to donate is available at: http://1j1.cctf.org.cn.

There are about 360 million children in China. Less than half are covered by commercial medical insurance or social welfare, according to the China Children and Teenagers' Fund (CCTF). Even those who are covered cannot afford the expensive treatment for diseases like leukemia.

"The insurance mechanism is something that can be done before disaster occurs. It will benefit thousands of children," said Chen Xiaoxia, the CCTF secretary general.

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