Editorials

China's health challenges

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38943.408021.80 (Published 17 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:365
  1. Tao Liu, associate professor ([email protected])
  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine Department, Second Teaching Hospital, Jilin University, Changchun 130041, Jilin Province, People's Republic of China

    Cannot be solved in a day

    As a result of China's rapid but asymmetric economic growth, health gaps are widening between urban and rural areas and poor and rich population groups.1 China's rapid economic growth and the consequent improvement in living conditions, nutrition, and health care have resulted in decreased infant and maternal mortality and increased life expectancy. Nonetheless, with the serious health threats brought on by the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic respiratory disease) and an ageing population,2 3 weaknesses in China's health system are hampering the achievement of improved health in the country. As a less developed country with the largest population in the world, China's reform of its health system is attracting the world's attention.4

    China's old health system provided equal and universal health care for all, but one suited to the new market economy has …

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