Five myths of the Chinese health care system.

Research paper by D Rob DR Haley, Mei M Zhao, JoAnn M JM Nolin, Kerry K Dunning, Sun S Qiang

Indexed on: 14 May '08Published on: 14 May '08Published in: The health care manager


As China continues its moves from a socialist ideology to a market economy, the impact of its presence is being felt globally. This is especially true with China's health care system and the challenges that it is experiencing with its 1.3 billion population. The erosion of China's socialist ideology was accompanied by an erosion of the government's subsidy of health services, placing the major responsibilities of providing health care services on regional governments. Unfortunately, the impact of these policies on China's health care system is not commonly understood, resulting in confusion and propagation of myths. For example, many believe that the Chinese government provides free health care for all citizens, and the population has not accepted Western medicine and relies primarily on traditional Chinese medicine. In addition, it is believed that there is no shortage of nurses, as the majority of care is provided at home. Finally, it is commonly believed that China's health care issues are different from those of the United States. Exploration of these myths provides us with a better understanding and an improved ability to engage with this emerging economic global leader.