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Around 10,000 Wuhan Retirees Took to the Streets

On February 8, around 10,000 retirees in Wuhan City, Hubei Province gathered at the municipal building to protest the city’s newly published “Employee Medical Reform” plan.

The plan, effective on February 1, will significantly cut the medical insurance benefits of Wuhan’s 2 million retirees. In the past, the government paid each retiree 286 yuan per month for medical spending , but the new plan only pays 83 yuan, a 70 percent cut. The new plan adds a 500 yuan deductible before any insurance payout. It appears that each person can be reimbursed 4,000 yuan a year, but the reality is only 1,300 yuan. Moreover, many medicines are no longer covered by the insurance.

A WeChat discussion showed that people have demanded that the Wuhan Mayor fix the issue by February 8; otherwise they will hold a large gathering on February 15. If there is no resolution by the end of the month, the retirees will demand that the mayor be impeached.

Police came to the site, but didn’t crack down on the protest. There are unofficial reports that the mayor met with the protesters in the afternoon and later on the city put the new plan on hold.

Source: Aboluo, February 8, 2023