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China outlines plans on health care reform in 2009
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China's State Council Thursday issued a medical reform plan of 2009, as its first year's move of the three-year health care reform.

The plan called for acceleration in building basic medical insurance system and essential drug system, and promotion on primary health care facilities and pilot reform of state-run hospitals.

According to the plan, about 100 state-run hospitals chosen from 12 cities will be designated as the pilot hospitals for the reform.

It also includes the access of nearly 6 million retirees from bankrupt stated-owned enterprises to the basic health insurance.

Moreover, the number of employees and citizens in urban areas joining basic health insurance is to reach 390 million by the end of this year, an increase of 72 million from a year earlier.

The standard of building primary health care facilities will be released this year, with 986 county hospitals, 3,549 town hospitals and 1,154 community medical service centers to be established.

The nation unveiled a three-year plan on health care reform on April 7 this year. With 850 billion yuan (US$124 billion) investment, the plan is considered to lay a solid foundation for equitable and universal access to essential health care for all in China by 2020.

(Xinhua News Agency July 24, 2009)

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