BEIJING, April 12, 2009 -- Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang has called medical reform a worldwide headache and urged local governments to carry out the reform in accordance to the principles set by the Central Authorities.
To increase investment and ensure the safety of the funds are crucial for the medical reform, said Li, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, at a workshop on the issue, which was attended by local officials in charge of the medical reform.
In his speech, the senior official called for innovating the method of medical investment and strictly supervising the management of the funds, to "ensure that the funds be used to meet the fundamental demands of the people."
The reform, which aims to provide basic medical care for China's 1.3 billion people by 2020, would cost 850 billion yuan (124 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three years.
The funds will mainly be used in building an essential medicine system, improving primary health care services, and replenishing basic public health services and pilot reform of state-run hospitals, he said.
Leading officials should go into grassroots units to discover and solve new problems, according to the senior Party official.
Medical workers should play an important role in the reform, which needs the understanding, support and participation of people in all social sectors, he said.
On April 6, the government published a new medical reform plan, which has been widely hailed as a turning-point for the development of the country's medical sector.