China’s Leaders Pledge Help for Rural Poor – Elaine Kurtenbach

From the Associated Press (Link):

There are no official statistics tallying the toll in suffering, but by most accounts, after nearly two decades of neglect, China is confronting a rural health crisis on a monumental scale.

Up to 90 percent of the 800 million people in China’s countryside lack affordable medical care. Children go unvaccinated. AIDS patients can get free drugs, but can’t afford the monitoring and additional medicine they need…

Communist leaders are now promising to rebuild a rural health care system that has fallen apart with the decline of farm cooperatives during two decades of economic reform.

It’s part of a package of policies to redress the huge gap between China’s fast-growing cities and the rural areas where protests over poverty and corruption are spreading. Such issues are expected to dominate the annual meeting of China’s parliament, opening on Sunday.

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