China's new state medical insurance administration has been officially set up in Beijing.
The administration is responsible for formulating policies, plans, and standards in relation to healthcare systems and medical insurance, maternity insurance and medical assistance, and ensuring their implementation.
Xiao Jie, state councilor and secretary-general of the State Council, said at the inauguration ceremony last week that the administration was founded to meet the people's medical needs, ease the burden of medical costs and improve health levels, reports the Xinhua news agency.
The plan to set up a state medical insurance administration directly under the State Council, or the Cabinet, was adopted by the national legislature in March.
The administration will also supervise and administer related medicare funds, improve a platform for trans-regional medical services and expense settlement, and organise related parties to fix and adjust prices for drugs and medical services, among other functions.