From AP, via the alternet.org:
China announced Monday the outlines of a thorough reform of the health care system that pledges to provide improved services to all citizens by 2020, tackling a critical issue that has become a major source of public dissatisfaction.
While many details of the plan remain unclear, the announcement underscored the communist government’s need to at least appear to be making progress on the issue. Public health care has been underfunded for years, and the high cost and poor availability of services are among the biggest complaints of the Chinese public.
A serious illness can wipe out a family’s life savings and the need to set aside earnings for potential medial costs is considered a major drag on the domestic consumption that the government so badly needs to boost to raise the flagging economy.
Reuters is running the following story, China eyes completing health care reforms by 2020.