China will further ease burden of patients with chronic or serious diseases this year, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday.
Outpatient medicines for treating chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes will be made reimbursable under the medical insurance scheme, with the reimbursement rate set at 50 percent. The move will benefit some 400 million patients, Li said at a press conference after the conclusion of the annual legislative session.
Meanwhile, China plans to lower the deductible threshold and raise the reimbursement rate for serious illnesses, he added.
The premier said there have been complaints about expensive cancer drugs. Last year, 17 cancer drugs were included in China's medical insurance reimbursement list, with the prices cut by over 50 percent on average.
He called on the government and private sectors to work together to meet people's health needs. "Without health, there will be no happy life for our people."