China is experimenting a new rural medicare program and the central government says it will pay 10 yuan (about US$1.2) each to farmers in underdeveloped areas who participate in the scheme voluntarily.
The General Office of the State Council, the central government, has re-issued a circular asking local governments in less-developed areas to pay at least 10 yuan (about US$1.2) to each of these farmers.
Meanwhile, the circular advises local governments of the developed areas, in the better-off eastern region and coastal areas, to pay 20 yuan (some US$2.4) to local farmers who have participated in the program.
Farmers should pay at least 10 yuan (about US$1.2) of their own for the medicare program, but in relatively affluent areas, the sum could be higher in accordance with the financial condition of local farmers, the circular says.
(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2004)