Chinese Premier urges improved social relief

China's State Council on Wednesday urged improved relief efforts for the poor, the sick and disaster-hit families.

The government must ensure the relief funds are sent to disaster-hit regions and families, said a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council.

Work must be done to ensure the basic needs of people in high-altitude regions and those taking shelter in tents during the winter, said Premier Li Keqiang, presiding over the meeting.

"Timely help, instead of lip service, can make people feel warm," Li said.

The State Council also decided to do more to help patients suffering critical illnesses and their families.

Aside from aid for people with low incomes, the government will phase in a broader relief mechanism that covers old people, juveniles, the severely disabled and the critically ill in low income families.

The government will also help cover part of the medical expenses of the critically ill that are not covered by insurance.

Relief fund will be paid to hospitals to make sure the families in need can get access to timely medical treatment.

The State Council also encouraged social groups such as charities to help.

Source: Xinhua