Program developed to help sufferers of serious illnesses avoid poverty

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Although there is a system of basic medical insurance that covers most of the public, treatment for a serious illness can still be a significant expense for many families in China. The China Population Welfare Foundation, a public-fundraising foundation with a state background founded in 1987, has launched a mechanism to help people who risk becoming impoverished or falling back into poverty because of a serious illness.

As the China Philanthropy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University reported three days ago in an article on their WeChat account: “On September 16, the China Population Welfare Foundation’s “China Serious Illness Relief Program” was launched in Beijing to establish a long-term mechanism to prevent people from slipping into poverty because they contracted a serious illness. Li Jinhua, vice chairman of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and president of the China Population Welfare Foundation, attended the meeting. Wang Zhenyao, dean of the China Public Welfare Institute of Beijing Normal University and vice chairman of the China Population Welfare Foundation, presided over it.”

“At present, although China has established a medical insurance system with “basic medical insurance + major illness insurance + medical assistance”, basic medical insurance covers 95% of the population. However, the proportion of people who end up in poverty or return to poverty due to illness is still as high as 44.1%, and it is rising. After 2020, after the goal of a “moderately well-off society” is comprehensively realized, the risk of people falling into poverty due to illness will persist for a long time.

The launch of the project will effectively promote information exchange and joint rescue between government and social organizations, give full play to the advantages of social organizations in resource mobilization, professional services, and precision assistance, and extend the service chain of major patients to relevant government departments.

Based on China’s major disease social assistance platform, the serious illness relief program is committed to integrating social resources and establishing a transparent social circle for serious illnesses through policy guidance, philanthropy project aggregation and online rescue. At present, the China Population Welfare Foundation and 66 charitable organizations have formed a serious illness rescue alliance. In 2017, only a total of 150 rescue projects were implemented by the member institutions of the alliance. More than 110,000 people were rescued, covering more than 50 diseases, and the rescue fund reached 1.78 billion yuan. It has become an important supplement outside of the government’s medical security system, and an important force for health and poverty alleviation.”