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China celebrates better access to healthcare at Communist Party congress

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4996 (Published 27 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4996
  1. Michael Woodhead
  1. Sydney

Universal healthcare cover and the creation of a primary care system were two of the landmark achievements being celebrated at China’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party, held in Beijing on 22 October.

Ms Li Bin, director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told the congress that the nation had implemented major reforms over the past five years to achieve what she called “a basic healthcare system with Chinese characteristics.”

Speaking at a media briefing at the congress, she noted that 95% of China’s population were now covered by basic health insurance and that people paid only about 30% of medical fees from their own pocket, down from …

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