The article was sponsored by the Research Project of the Chinese National Research Fund for Health Law and Medical Law.
The health care system of the People's Republic of China: Between privatization and public health care
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
© 2013 The author(s) International Social Security Review © 2013 International Social Security Association
International Social Security Review
Volume 66, Issue 1, pages 97–116, January-March 2013
How to Cite
Liu, D. and Darimont, B. (2013), The health care system of the People's Republic of China: Between privatization and public health care. International Social Security Review, 66: 97–116. doi: 10.1111/issr.12004
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2013
- Research Project of the Chinese National Research Fund
- health insurance;
- access to care;
- quality of care;
- consumption of health care;
Chinese health care policy has undergone numerous reforms in recent years that have often led to new challenges, inciting the need for further reform. The most recent reforms attempt to find a middle path between public health care provision and commercial private insurance. In this way, China is following in the footsteps of countries that initially increased the role of privatization in the 1990s and at the beginning of the 21st century, but are now gearing towards public health care. However, this process of constant reform has led to a lack of transparency in the functioning of the health care system, provoking a loss in public trust. There remains an important degree of uncertainty about the future direction of developments in China. Nonetheless, a dual financing approach to health care using tax finance and social insurance might yet crystallize, offering a potential model to inform developments in other countries.