The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) on Tuesday - the
60th World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day - kicked off a week-long
campaign to provide access to free health services for China's
During the campaign, the RCSC will organize artistic
performances to raise money, send medicine to the countryside, and
provide free medical services for rural residents and migrant
"China's unevenly developed economy has resulted in
medical services in some remote and underdeveloped western rural
areas being unaffordable and inadequate," said Jiang Yiman, vice
chairman of the RCSC.
"We hope the fund-raising drive will lessen farmers'
economic burdens and let them share the fruits of China's reform
and opening up drive," Jiang said.
The RCSC has been involved in the trial of a rural
cooperative medicare system since 2005. In 2006, the society
provided 24.6 million yuan (US$3.2 million) for 40 counties for the
trial and 302,600 farmers have benefited from the RCSC-organized
free medical services, free physical examinations, and discounted
Under the new cooperative medical care program
launched in 2003, a farmer participant pays 10 yuan (US$1.3) a
year, while the state, provincial, municipal and county governments
jointly put in another 40 yuan (US$5.2) for the cooperative
The participant can have part of his expenses
reimbursed in case of hospitalization.
According to the government work report by Premier Wen Jiabao in March, the trial area of the
rural cooperative medical care system will be expanded this year to
cover more than 80 percent of all counties, county-level cities,
and city districts in China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 9, 2007)