Source: Xinhua

China mulls draft law on basic medical and health care

BEIJING, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Chinese lawmakers are considering a draft law on basic medical and health care.

The draft law was brought for the first reading at a bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, scheduled to run Friday to Wednesday.

"The law will be the country's first fundamental and comprehensive law on basic medical and health care," said Liu Binjie, chairman of the education, science, culture and health care committee of the NPC.

The right to health is for the first time put forward as a basic human right at the legal level in the draft.

It also stipulates that "citizens have the rights and obligations to participate in basic medical care insurance."

It is specified in the draft that all medical and health care institutions should do their part to provide all-aspect and full-life-cycle public health and medical services in prevention, health and fitness, treatment, rehabilitation, nursing and hospice care.

It incorporates health education in the national education system and encourages schools and universities to carry out health education in various forms. Rules on smoking controls in public places are listed in the draft.

A series of policies that proved effective in medical reform have been adopted in the draft, including encouraging social forces to participate in setting up medical and health care institutions, requiring grassroots medical and health care institutions to implement family doctor services, and making public hospitals independent in operation and management.

It is specified in the draft that all basic medicines are incorporated in the reimbursement catalogue of basic medical insurance medicines to have the most favorable reimbursement policy in order to ensure that basic medicines are accessible and fairly priced.

Basic public health services are provided by the state free of charge, according to the draft.