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Tibet Improves Social Security System
With positive changes to the unemployment benefit, old-age pension and medicare, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region has rapidly improved its social security system.

Last year, 738 workers were laid off in Tibet and regional re- employment service centers allocated 3.1 million yuan (US$373,000) toward a minimum lifetime guaranteed stipend for the unemployed.

So far 514 enterprises and institutions serving the needs of 20, 000 people in the region have joined the unemployment insurance program.

Statistics show that at the end of 2001, Tibet had collected 18. 6 million yuan (US$2.2 million) in unemployment compensation, 6.4 percent of which has already been paid out.

In addition, the local government has offered 30 different training courses to more than 1,200 people, including the employed as well as the unemployed.

Increasing contributions to endowment insurance schemes has enabled elderly Tibetans to have the advantage of better services.

Last year, 287 million yuan (US$34.6 million) was allocated for retirement pensions. There are now 70,000 retired people as well as employees participating in the basic retirement security program.

A comprehensive medical care network has been formed to cover most of Tibet's autonomous townships.

Statistics show that Tibet has 1,237 institutions engaged in medical and health work with over 6,000 beds available and about 9, 000 professional medical staff.

According to statistics, more than 40,000 people have signed up for basic medicare.

(China Daily February 15, 2002)

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