China to provide free cataract surgery for impoverished citizens
BEIJING, March 3 (Xinhua) -- China Saturday launched a national program to treat cataracts free of charge for impoverished citizens.
The program, jointly launched by the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development and the National Health and Family Planning Commission, aims to provide free cataract surgery for all Chinese who cannot afford the treatment by 2020.
According to statistics from the two authorities, around 600,000 of the nearly 90 million registered impoverished Chinese suffer from cataracts and need surgery they cannot afford.
The program needs 1.8 billion yuan (284 million U.S. dollars) in funding. Its progress will be published online so information is available for the public, said Li Shoushan, deputy head of the China Poverty-Alleviation Promotion of Volunteer Service.