Improving people's livelihood always a priority: Premier

16:42, December 27, 2009      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) speaks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua News Agency at Ziguangge building inside Zhongnanhai, an office compound of the Chinese central authorities at the heart of Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 27, 2009. (Xinhua/Yao Dawei)

The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao stressed on Sunday that the final ends of the nation's economic growth is to improve people's well-being, which is always a priority on the government's agenda amid the global financial crisis.

Despite the tight fiscal condition, China beefed up the income and welfare enjoyed by the retirees and low-income residents, and unveiled the significant health-care reform in 2008, Wen told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

"We will overcome every difficulty to well implement the health-care reform which has close bearing on people's health," he said.

Wen said the rural medical cooperative system has covered more than 800 million people, and more than 400 million urban dwellers had joined the urban medical insurance system.

Although the health care security service has covered more than 1.2 billion people, the current safety level remains low, he said.

Wen noted the government had made great efforts to step up health care infrastructure in rural areas and urban communities. Reforms are also made to make medicine more affordable for patients.

He also stressed the significance of the pilot program of rural pension insurance.

"Farmers aged over 60 could get 55 yuan a month. It is not a big sum, but it begins a new era," he said.

Since the global economic crisis broke out at the end of last year, the Chinese government has timely implemented a stimulus package which stepped up financial support and policy incentives to improve people's well-being and stimulate domestic demand, in order to shore up economic recovery.

China has spent 728.46 billion yuan (107.13 billion U.S. dollars) to enhance education and medical systems, social security, job promotion, affordable housing construction, and cultural development. The investment was an increase of 165.33 billion yuan from a year ago.

Source: Xinhua
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