Monday, 27 January 2014

China medical news headlines for Monday 27th January

Premier pledges social security system
In his first press conference as premier, Li Keqiang affirmed the Chinese government's commitment to building a social security system safety net that will include provision of medical care. According to China Daily, the premier said the government should "weave a network that guarantees the basic living of all the people", covering education, medical care, social insurance and housing.

Blood donations dry up at New Year
China is facing severe shortages in blood donations as the usual donors - students - return home for Chinese New Year. Nanning's blood donation centre now has only 300 donors a day but the city needs 4-500 to meet hospital demand, according to CRI. Cold winter weather also deters people from going to blood donation centers or donation buses, health authorities say.

Whistleblower doctor gets her job back
Mianyang's 'corridor doctor' whistleblower who lost her job after complaining about hospital overservicing will be offered her job back after an inquiry, authorities in Sichuan say, according to Global Times. Lan Yuefeng worked in a corridor for two years after protesting about her hospital offering unnecessary treatments and profiteering.

Laowai not using medical cards
Foreigners who work in China now receive social security cards that allow them to access subsidised medical treatment in the same way as Chinese citizens, according to China Daily. However many foreigners are unsure of their entitlements and do not use them, a professor says.

Social security shortfall
New social security laws compel local authorities to provide financial assistance to the needy including those with severe medical conditions and local officials  face legal action if they refuse to provide it, according to the Beijing Review. However,  local authorities say they do not have the personnel to check every single claim for validity.

Outdoor workers get pollution clinics
Shanghai has set up special drop-in medical centres for outdoor workers who are suffering from the effects of air pollution, according to ECNS. The city authorities have also provided 300 medical cards for outdoor workers because of their high risk of pollution-related ailments.

Leaders call for action on H7N9 response
The Chinese vice premier Liu Yandong has called on all local authorities across China to take action to prevent the spread of H7N9 influenza. Local health departments will face punishment if they do not take action on epidemic surveillance and outbreak response plans in areas such as health institutions and schools. Poultry markets in Beijing have not tested positive for H7N9 influenza virus, according to the Shanghai Daily. However Shanghai has now experienced its eighth case of H7N9 avian influenza of the year, the paper reports.

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