Growing health care spending in China

One can expect health care spending in China to grow for two reasons in the coming years. First, with the economy growing, individuals and the government will have more money to spend on health care. Second, China is aging rapidly and older individuals require more health care services. Thus, it should come as no surprise…

End of life care in China

An interesting article from Longreads on dealing with a grandmother’s terminal illness in China. Guo Zhen didn’t know she had cancer, and my family had carefully devised a strategy to keep it that way. Doctors and nurses in the hospital had been instructed to never speak of her illness in her presence, and visitors to…

Health insurance in China

Although China has the world’s largest economy, the average individual is actually fairly poor.  Average incomes in the country are less than $15,000 per year, ranking #121 in the world.  However, a vast majority of Chinese have health insurance due to some recent reforms. A paper by Zhang et al. (2016) uses data from the 2011-2012 China…

What is China’s NMCS?

In 2003, China introduced the New Cooperative Medical Scheme(NCMS), a health insurance scheme for the rural population. What is the NCMS?  Hou et al. (2014) describe the NMCS as follows: As a voluntary and heavily subsidized scheme, it has seen extremely rapid growth of coverage in comparison with most new schemes in developing countries. By the…

Health Reform in China

What is health insurance like in China?  A 2011 paper by Zhong in Health Economics provides a nice overview, which I discuss in today’s post. Between the 1950s and the end of the 1970s, three primary insurance schemes covered almost all Chinese citizens. Cooperative Medical System (CMS).  This program existed in 90% of Chinese villages. …

Plastic Surgery in China

China standard is living as funds from export industries eventually trickle down into the earnings of (some) ordinary Chinese. Where are the Chinese spending their newfound wealth?  In part, the answer is self-beautification procedures.  According to the Economist: “China performs more cosmetic surgery than any country except America and Brazil. Almost 1.3m licensed procedures were…

Effect of delayed reimbursement on utilization of medical services

A recent paper by Hai Zhong (2011) finds that health insurance that provides immediate reimbursement for health care services significantly increases the likelihood of patients seeking outpatient treatment in China compared to reimbursement beneficiaries with a delay. China isn’t the only country where insurance companies provide delayed reimbursement. In fact, in France patients pay the full cost…

Smoking Prevention in China

“All tobacco companies are state-owned, and the industry provides signifiant revenue; it also directly employs more than half a million people. From the government’s perspective, smoking is important to stability, both economic and social.  Some cigarettes are even subsidized–the cheapest brands cost as little as thirty cents a pack, because officials fear that farmers will…

Malpractice in China

In the U.S., physicians often fear that if a patient experiences a bad health outcome, the physician will be liable for millions of dollars as part of a malpractice suit.  Although the malpractice system in the U.S. may be far from perfect, most physicians would certainly prefer it over the more informal forms of “malpractice”…