Intended for healthcare professionals


Nine in 10 Chinese are covered by medical insurance, but access to treatment remains a problem

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 09 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e248
  1. Jane Parry
  1. 1Hong Kong

China’s wide ranging reforms of the health sector have resulted in almost universal coverage by social health insurance schemes and a greater degree of medical security, conclude reports from official state media.

Healthcare financing experts acknowledge China’s progress as a result of a three year reform process, with central government funding of ¥850bn (£87bn; €105bn; $134bn) that started in early 2009, but point out that universal coverage is just one step on the road to equitable access to affordable healthcare.

The Chinese health minister, Chen Zhu, announced last week that 89% of urban residents and …

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