Little Red Scarf is in Lanzhou, Gansu province and provides financial support and encouragement to children suffering from congenital heart disease. In addition, they provide families with post-operative care and help the children sustain a healthy lifestyle.
One month after Hongyan was discharged from hospital, we accompanied her mother to reimburse from New Rural Cooperation Medical System. According to Hongyan’s cousin, the office of NCMS is in the county hospital.
Hongyan’s mother organized and printed the paper work for reimbursement. Hongyan’s mother is an illiterate, so her cousin accompanied her to the county. Her cousin reads relevant regulations of reimbursement to Hongyan’s mother.
According to the staff, the reimbursement now should be completed at township clinic level. The township clinic is 40 kilometers away from the county. The bus only comes twice a day. If we miss the second bus, we have to take a private small bus, which takes 50 minutes and 60RMB. We were anxious and made sure to get there early.
Once they get there however, we realized the paperwork was not complete. Hongyan is a minor and has no ID, so they need to take a resident certification from the local police office and take a photo. The only store that took photos was closed, so we had to go back to the county. The next day, all papers were ready and submitted to the staff. When we asked about the reimbursement, the staff told us there were new policies and they were not sure, but the family would receive the money in early June.
With this field visit, our staff was able to better understand the process of the NCMS. We imagine it could be bureaucratic and inconvenient for low-income or rural families, but we will continue to keep track of the case and make sure Hongyan's family gets the money. As TFISH staff, we work hard to understand and address the needs of people on an individual level. It was good for us to get to better understand the system to better serve our patients in the future.
Original article written by Ying Guan, translated by Maggie Li, and edited by Yanyan Zhang
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