"Because of poor economic conditions our daughter has never been able to get treatment for the dislocation of intervertebral discs. However, this time we did not need to pay any money and could receive the treatment,” a 66-year-old herder Tendar said on the 14th.
That day, 28 Tibetan herders including Tendar's daughter became the first batch the 156 handicapped people of Chumarle to receive physical rehabilitation medical treatment services.
The Chumarle County is located in the northern part of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China's Qinghai province. It is famous as the first county near the headwaters of the Yellow River and the county has a total population of 32,000 amongst which 98% are Tibetan.
The average altitude there is 4500 meters and the herders suffer long-term plateau disease and other local diseases frequently.
“Herders in Chumarle County have stationed in the area of Yellow River headwaters for generations and they have reduced livestock and prohibited herding in order to protect the local environment as this has become their main responsibility,” said Nyima Tashi, head of the Chumarle County. He said at present the headers' livelihood and medical care level are still poor.
There are 1,414 handicapped individuals in the county.
156 people has gone to Xining the capital city of Qinghai in batches to receive rehabilitation. Surgical treatment costs would be covered by the health insurance and the county government.
The medical expenses outside of the health insurance coverage would be handled by the Chumarle government. In addition, the 156 patients would get 120 yuan per day as the living subsidy. Hotel and transportation fee of the patients and families who accompanied to Xining would be paid by the Chumarle County Federation of the disabled.