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China's health insurance system is failing poor people

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39391.527338.DB (Published 08 November 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:961
  1. Mary Hennock
  1. Beijing

    China's vigorous attempts to provide its vast population with better access to health care in the past few years have largely misfired, a World Health Organization study concludes.

    Although overall spending on health care has risen by an average of 15% to 22% a year since the 1990s, much has been absorbed by the soaring costs of hospital care rather than being used to create the safety net of comprehensive care that was intended, said a WHO official.

    What's more, new health insurance schemes for both city and country areas have failed to make medical treatment affordable for poor people, says the report.

    China's government has made it a priority to improve access of its poorer citizens to medical treatment, under the …

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