A member of top advisory body suggested on Thursday the government foster a medical care insurance system to ensure that the 1.3 billion people can afford to see a doctor by the year 2010.
Although the people's livelihoods have been improved greatly thanks to fast economic growth in China over the last two decades and more, the gap between the rich and poor has also widened, said Suo Lisheng, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), China's top advisory body.
Suo therefore urged a rational and just income distribution principle beneficial to all people be formulated as soon as possible and the institution of a public financial mechanism be paced up so as to meet the people's demand for social security and public health.
China began establishing a rural medical care cooperative system on a trial basis in 2003. As part of the nationwide medicare set-up, the rural medicare cooperative system has been available in 333 counties and cities, covering a total of 80.4 million rural peasant farmers, including 46.79 million rural residents from the country's mid-western region.
However, Prof. Fang Tingyu of Beijing Traditional Chinese Medicine University, found only 58.36 percent of farmers "supporting" the new rural medicare system while many others took a "wait-and-see" attitude.
Citing the outcome of his recent survey in Guizhou and Sichuan provinces, Prof. Fang, also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, owed the farmers' lack of a sense of health care to the leading factor behind their apathy and indifference to the new rural medicare set-up.
"We need to beef up publicity of the rural medical care cooperative system," Fang said.