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Good Samaritans to get assistance

By He Dan  (China Daily)

08:58, July 27, 2012

Families of people hurt or killed performing acts of heroism will receive help with their medical costs, living expenses and accommodation, as the government looks to build a safety net for Good Samaritans.

Experts say the measures, announced Thursday by the State Council, will help battle the "bystander effect" and encourage more people to assist others in times of need.

According to the new regulations, human resource departments will need to prioritize giving employment opportunities to people who have been rewarded by authorities for their heroism.

In addition, for those who lost their lives helping others, local governments or their employers should pay families subsidies, as well as provide favorable policies to ensure their children have access to education.

Heroes with low incomes will also be given priority if they are on the waiting list for affordable housing programs or State-sponsored house renovation programs.

Seven government agencies including the ministries of civil affairs and health will carry out the new regulations.

Sun Shaochi, vice-minister of civil affairs, said on Thursday that the policies will help relieve hardships for people who perform brave acts and their families, as well as encourage people to "do the right thing".

A news website in Zhejiang province in 2010 looked at 451 people who performed brave acts, and found that 93 of them lost their lives and 180 were injured when helping others. It also showed that 80 percent of those polled live in economic difficulty.

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