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Primary health care in China: is China’s health reform reform for the whole nation?

  • Jing-Min Cheng (a1), Yong-Xu Yuan (a1), Wei Lu (a2) and Le Yang (a3)

Abstract

Background: Good primary health care can enhance national health status at relatively low cost. The barefoot doctor model in China was once considered to have been a successful health care policy. It was a model which was followed by other low-developed or developing countries. In recent decades, the Chinese government promulgated a number of new policies and health reforms to improve its health care system. Aim: This paper aimed to highlight the great significance of primary health care and appeal to the policymakers to change the priority to primary health care in order to be able to guarantee universal health care for the whole nation at least at primary care level. Method: This study discussed Chinese primary health care by reviewing its history and development. Finding: Chinese government’s efforts do not seem to be leading to a completely successful outcome for all the people of China as a result of the substantial imbalance of investments between tertiary level hospitals and grass-root level health care institutions. The government appears to have neglected the importance of primary health care in the implementation of health systems and resources.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Le Yang, Shanxi Medical College for Continuing Education, No. 100 Wenjin Street, Yuci District, Jinzhong, Shanxi 030600, China. Email: yangle05@hotmail.com

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