Premier Li: 50% subsidy on chronic disease drugs to improve basic medical care
Updated 14:18, 15-Mar-2019

Chronic disease drugs will be added to China's basic medical insurance system and half of the expenses can be reimbursed this year, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during the press conference on Friday following the closing meeting of the second session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

Over 400 million people in China have suffered from chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. For many patients, it's a huge expenditure since a big portion of their pension has gone to it.

Last year, the nation launched a cost-sharing insurance scheme to ease the burden on the patients. The government and the patients themselves split the medical bills.

By doing this, tens of millions of people are able to get treatment for their chronic diseases.

In addition, China will lower the payout threshold for serious illness treatment, Li said. 

China's basic medical system, covering 1.4 billion people, has yet to reach expected results, especially for families with an annual income lower than 15,000 yuan.

Concerted efforts from the government and society as a whole should be in place to help people in need, Li stressed.