A new 2016 government policy has removed all government funding for basic congenital heart surgery in Gansu. Government policies changes every year when the leaders change every March. This leaves us as the primary sponsor for poor families needing financial aid for CHD surgery. Last year, our average was to sponsor about two to four children a month because the government covered simple cases. This year, we already have 14 children currently in the hospital. We're back to the number of children we usually have in the past years.
Goal: Sustainability through Local Government
When we first started the Little Red Scarf Heart Surgery program in 2008, our goal was to see sustainability at the ground level. We hoped our model of helping poor Gansu children suffering from congenital heart disease with surgery expenses would effect government policy.
Temporary Government Subsidy
Over time the government became more involved with subsidizing simple CHD heart surgeries, to the point where they funded 75% of the children in need. That left the complicated cases without government funding, so we sponsored these patients.
New 2016 Policy, Funding Withdrawn
However, as government leaders and policies change, so does their funding. The new policies as of 2016 are not focused on CHD surgeries. This year the government is not funding the hospital’s surgeries, and we don’t know if or when they will fund again.
Increased LRS Responsibility
This change in government funding means that we are now responsible again for covering the simple CHD surgeries for impoverished families. Last year we sponsored an average of 2-5 children a month. These were the complicated cases because the government subsidized 100% of the simple cases.
In January 2016, we had 35 surgery patients apply for our LRS program. To steward our resources wisely, we are focusing only on the poorest families. We only accepted 14 of the 35 January applicants to receive LRS support. The surge of patients to 14 children a month is similar to our average from 2008-2014, our busiest years when there was limited government support.
Greater, Urgent Need
Please join us to help meet the increased need for surgery subsidies. Your donation will give a poor child a healthy new life.
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