|Begar, 106, drinks tea at her home in No 13 village, Lashi township, Nagqu prefecture, the Tibet autonomous region on Sept 15. Residents of Tibet have benefited from improved medical services as the region adopts a universal healthcare system based on free services. Cui Meng / China Daily|
Residents of the Tibet autonomous region are benefiting from high-quality medical services and are enjoying longer lives.
Tibet's population of 3 million has an average life expectancy of 67 years and the region has more than 110 people over 100 years old.
Begar, 106, lives with 36 extended family members, including seven great-grandchildren, the youngest aged 20 months, in No 13 village, Lashi township, Nagqu prefecture.
She receives a government allowance for elderly residents of 600 yuan ($96) a year and 80 percent of all her medical expenses are covered by insurance.
Tibet has a universal healthcare system based on free medical care that cost 2.08 billion yuan over the past 10 years.
Heavy injections of funds from central and regional governments have brought advanced medical equipment, more beds and an improved medical workforce to Tibet. Supporting facilities, such as electricity supplies for medical use, are also rapidly improving.
Farmers and herders pay 20 yuan a year, which entitles them to reimbursement for medical expenses of up to 60,000 yuan, an increase from 50,000 yuan in 2011. Expenses to treat serious diseases are covered up to 70,000 yuan a year per person. Women giving birth and neonatal emergency care are fully reimbursed.
From 2006 to 2011, 688 million yuan was reimbursed for 22.5 million outpatient hospital visits. About 706,000 inpatient visits received reimbursements of 988 million yuan, 75 percent of total hospitalization expenses, according to the health department in the region.
Successful surgeries have been performed for free on 3,000 children who had congenital heart disease in the region. In two years, all children with this condition in Tibet will receive free surgery, the regional government announced in February.
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