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Privatising health care in China : problems and reforms
Journal of Contemporary Asia
  • Wai Keung TAM, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
  • Privatisation,
  • health care,
  • regulation,
  • public hospitals,
  • China

This article examines the privatisation of China's health care, highlighting the adverse consequences on the accessibility and quality of health services within the public hospital sector and considering the recent government's efforts to de-privatise the health sector. It argues that the dramatic cutbacks in public financing for the health sector and the failure of the state to establish effective and strong regulatory institutions are two major reasons for the adverse consequences, particularly the declining service quality. The lack of effective regulatory institutions is in turn caused by the following factors: revenue-generation imperative, bureaucratic politics, poorly financed and unqualified regulators. Finally, this article discusses the weaknesses of the recent de-privatisation policy, including implementation problems, the difficulty of the government to reassert its ownership rights over public hospitals, and inadequate regulatory reform.

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Copyright © Journal of Contemporary Asia 2010

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Citation Information
Tam, W. (2010). Privatising health care in China: Problems and reforms. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 40(1), 63-81. doi: 10.1080/00472330903270700