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Poor patients with critical illnesses to get gov't aid

(Xinhua)

08:22, March 08, 2012

BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government will implement a trial program this year to provide financial support and low-cost medical treatment for impoverished and disabled patients with critical illnesses.

The initial list of diseases covered by the program includes pediatric acute leukemia, congenital heart disease, cervical cancer, breast cancer and critical mental diseases, according to a Wednesday statement from the ministries of civil affairs, health, finance, human resources and social security.

"The program will start with illnesses that require large treatment expenditures and have a significant impact on society. It will cover more diseases as the fund increases," said the statement.

According to the plan, trial counties and cities selected by provincial-level governments will be required to increase support for treatment of the specified diseases in accordance with local reserve funds and economic development, according to a Tuesday guideline issued by the government.

The program will target low-income elderly people, families with inadequate insurance, severely disabled people and others who are financially incapable of treating their critical illnesses.

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