Primary care must have greater role in China’s health system, says OECD

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 06 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c1903
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    China’s spectacular economic growth in recent years has helped improve some health outcomes, such as deaths from infectious diseases, but has been accompanied by an increase in chronic diseases, an analysis by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says.

    Despite the country’s increased wealth, serious problems remain in access to treatment, quality of care, and costs to people in poorer areas, the OECD’s report says.

    “Improving health outcomes will require addressing a number of imbalances and incentive problems plaguing the healthcare system, in a context of rapidly rising demand for care,” it says.

    At present the Chinese health system is not oriented to preventing chronic diseases, the report says, even though the trend worldwide has been to increase care at the primary level. In China patients prefer to go to hospitals, it says, as doctors in primary care are less qualified …

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