From the Chinese Press

Updated: 2013-10-17 07:24

(China Daily)

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Improve social medical scheme

Zheng Yanliang, a farmer in Baoding, Hebei province, had to have his right leg amputated because of a festering wound, which ultimately turned into gangrene because he couldn't afford to pay for its treatment. The incident shows that lack of funds has rendered social medical care in many regions, especially rural areas, a non-performing public service, says an article in Beijing News. Excerpts:

Zheng's tragedy should prompt us to reflect on and reconsider our social assistance program. But Zheng is not the only one to undergo a tragic predicament because he could not afford to pay for his medical treatment. That he was forced to tend to his wounds without expert medical help reflects how poor healthcare services are for some social groups.

Zheng's wounds had reached such a stage that they could not be healed, and the only option left for him was to get his leg amputated, which is a shame. Although reports said that he was covered by a rural cooperative medical care system that should have paid for his basic medical needs, the local government neither offered any help nor arranged for timely physical examination to help arrest his deteriorating condition.

Indeed, the medical insurance scheme has been extended to almost every corner of the country, but there are still many people who are not covered by it. And even many of those who are covered by the scheme are not eligible to get paid for the treatment of some rare diseases. Besides, the medical assistance mechanism in many areas lacks effective enforcement.

Though media reports say that Zheng's future life is likely to be "better", thanks to the help he has got from some quarters, many patients still cannot afford to pay for their treatment and, hence, have to suffer in silence.

It's time the authorities took serious steps to improve the basic medical insurance and assistance mechanism to ensure that the needy get proper healthcare in time.

Nothing wrong with calf love

After banning body contact, like holding hands, between boys and girls on campus, another regulation has put group dancing in junior middle and primary schools in Beijing under the scanner. The revised regulations are aimed at dispelling the worries of parents and school authorities, who believe that body contact between boys and girls hampers their healthy development, says an article on Excerpts:

Many Chinese parents don't want their children to get into a relationship during their school years. At the same time, they hope their children would marry someone who has an excellent academic record, excels in his/her field and owns (or would shortly own) a house and perhaps a car. Parents can't be criticized for what they think. But the problem is that nobody can be perfect right from his/her childhood; every person has to pass through the rigmarole of life, face the obstacles and overcome them before proving his/her mettle.

Puppy love, which many parents are vehemently opposed to, is not the same for everyone. In many cases, adolescent students in love help each other not only with studies, but also to get admitted to prestigious universities. More importantly, it's natural for adolescents to fall in love, and their feelings cannot be controlled by school authorities or their parents.

What school authorities and parents should do is to properly guide adolescents through the pits and falls of student life. By banning students from holding hands, the authorities have shown that they don't understand how teenagers' mind and heart work.

Compared with their counterparts in Western countries, and even in Japan and the Republic of Korea, Chinese children have very little interaction with peers of the opposite gender, which could make them unsuitable for future relationship. When the growing number of eligible, unmarried youths has become a social concern, why are we trying to stop teenagers from holding hands and possibly walking into a fruitful relationship?

(China Daily 10/17/2013 page9)