Healthcare Reforms in China to Help the Rural Population

Published Date : Sep 21, 2015

There have been many cases in China, wherein, families living in rural areas have not been able to pay for their medical expenditures. This has led to the loss of lives and limited access to healthcare services in rural China. This shows how the market-oriented structure in the Chinese economy over the past couple of decades has led to the inaccessibility to medical aid in rural areas of China. This problem however, is about to undergo a positive change in the near future. 

The government of China recently declared that approximately US$124 billion would be channelized towards its system of health care that will involve the establishment of one clinic in China’s seven lakh villages, capping costs of a number of prescription medicines, and also increasing the cover of medical insurance. This package is expected to provide affordable, convenient, effective, safe healthcare services to all by 2020. It is also anticipated that the effects of such a step will extend beyond the borders as well, and will give a major boost to the Chinese economy and manage any sort of medical crises, like swine flu, bird flu, and SARS. 

This plan also reverses the system wherein “barefoot physicians” would be sent to rural areas in China in order to provide almost free medical care services. Most people living in the countryside and the outskirts of China, save up a major part of their earnings for hospital stays and visit to the doctors. However, if the healthcare plan gets implemented effectively, it would mean that most 

Chinese would be able to spend on goods and not have to save for future healthcare emergencies. This would give them greater purchasing power in the long run. It has also been made clear to the masses that the main aim of this healthcare improvement is to make medical coverage affordable and not free.