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More Than 95% of Monks in Qinghai Join Cooperative Medical Care

More than 95 percent of the 23,500 monks in northwest China's Qinghai Province now have taken part in the rural cooperative medical care system, local health authority said on Sunday.

The Qinghai provincial government tried to include the monks in the rural cooperative medical care system in 2003 when the system started operation.

The monks, including Tibetan Buddhist, Han Buddhists, Muslims, Christians and Taoist, can get partial reimbursement (50 to 70 percent) for hospital expenses by paying 20 yuan a year, said a Qinghai provincial health department official.

The central government and provincial, municipal and county-level governments jointly contribute 84.3 yuan for the cooperative fund for each person a year. Reimbursement rates vary according to the illness and the hospital charges.

All the 750 monks in the Kumbum Monastery, the largest Tibetan-style monastery in the province, have taken part in the rural cooperative medical care system, according to a latest survey by the provincial health department.

(Xinhua News Agency March 31, 2008)

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