ABSTRACT

Introduction The People’s Republic of China (PRC), the world’s most populous nation, has undergone an unprecedented economic and social transformation since it was founded in 1949, as detailed in other chapters in this book. This has been accompanied by an increase in the standard of living, health status and life expectancy of its people (Meng 2007: 2). At the same time, as in many Western countries, problems that have an adverse impact on health outcomes of the population have also become more evident. These include issues related to affordability and quality of health care and the rising burden of chronic disease (cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, musculoskeletal conditions, mental illness and cancers). In this chapter we will discuss China’s current (2009 onward) health reforms, which represent a major departure from health and social policies of the preceding 20 years.