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Put social security cards to easy use

China daily | Updated: 2017-02-06 07:40

Put social security cards to easy use

A bank clerk shows a social security card at a branch of China Construction Bank (CCB) in Haian county, Nantong city, East China's Jiangsu province, 30 October 2014.[Photo/IC]

ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL DATA, 972 million domestic residents now have social security cards, and the number is expected to grow to cover most residents. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said that they will work with other governmental departments to make the cards multifunctional. An editorial in Beijing News comments:

A social security card is for more than just social security-the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said the cards will provide 102 functions eventually, covering almost all aspects of a cardholder's daily life.

With more functions attached to security cards and an increasing number of people holding the cards, the government will have achieved a lot.

However, it remains a challenge for the government to deliver all the promises it has made when it comes to increasing the many functions attached to the cards.

Of all the functions to be added to the cards, the one that would allow holders to settle their medical bill in places other than where they are registered is a hard nut to crack.

On the one hand, medical insurance policies vary from province to province, the percentage of medical expenses people can get reimbursed from medical insurance schemes is also different in different places. On the other hand, an increasing number of people go to non-local hospitals for treatment as they tend to travel or stay in other provinces. Cooperation is urgently needed from different provinces to make it possible for residents to have their medical bills settled with their social security cards anywhere they get medical treatment.

Beijing and neighboring Hebei province have been experimenting to allow each other's residents have their medical bills settled in the other's hospitals since Jan 5. Now in a Hebei hospital, Beijing residents can have their medical bills settled directly there. We hope other provinces and cities will follow the suit.

Besides medical services, we also hope the State can make the collected personal information secure. With more functions added, the card will include more personal information and how secure their details are is of essential importance to the cardholder. The State needs to ensure the safety of the data to protect citizens.

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