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More measures needed to deepen healthcare reform in China: vice premier

(Xinhua)

08:14, November 30, 2011

BEIJING, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday said the government is looking at measures that will deepen the reform of China's health care system, including increased allowances and expanding the coverage of the country's essential medicine system.

Li made the remark while presiding over a health care-themed meeting convened by the State Council, or China's cabinet, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

He said the government will raise the level of allowances for medical insurance plans in both rural and urban areas, although no details were given in the statement.

He said the reforms are aimed at allowing all of the country's citizens to take part in medical insurance plans, ensuring universal access to basic health care services.

A total of 1.29 billion Chinese, or 95 percent of the nation's population, are currently covered by medical insurance, while the price of basic medicine dropped by an average of 16.9 percent during the 2009-2011 period, according to the meeting.

China kicked off its health reforms in April 2009, aiming to correct long-standing problems in its health system and ease public grievances.

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