Universal health coverage (UHC) is driving the global health agenda. Many countries have embarked on national policy reforms towards this goal, including China. In 2009, the Chinese government launched a new round of healthcare reform towards UHC, aiming to provide universal coverage of basic healthcare by the end of 2020. The year of 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of China’s most recent healthcare reform. Sharing China’s experience is especially timely for other countries pursuing reforms to achieve UHC. This study describes the social, economic and health context in China, and then reviews the overall progress of healthcare reform (1949 to present), with a focus on the most recent (2009) round of healthcare reform. The study comprehensively analyses key reform initiatives and major achievements according to four aspects: health insurance system, drug supply and security system, medical service system and public health service system. Lessons learnt from China may have important implications for other nations, including continued political support, increased health financing and a strong primary healthcare system as basis.
Universal health coverage (UHC) has been identified as a priority for the global health agenda. In 2009, the Chinese government launched a new round of healthcare reform towards UHC, aiming to provide universal coverage of basic healthcare by the end of 2020. We conducted a secondary data analysis and combined it with a literature review, analysing the overview of UHC in China with regard to financial protection, coverage of health services and the reported coverage of the WHO and the World Bank UHC indicators. The results include the following: out-of-pocket expenditures as a percentage of current health expenditures in China have dropped dramatically from 60.13% in 2000 to 35.91% in 2016; the health insurance coverage of the total population jumped from 22.1% in 2003 to 95.1% in 2013; the average life expectancy increased from 72.0 to 76.4, maternal mortality dropped from 59 to 29 per 100 000 live births, the under-5 mortality rate dropped from 36.8 to 9.3 per 1000 live births, and neonatal mortality dropped from 21.4 to 4.7 per 1000 live births between 2000 and 2017; and so on. Our findings show that while China appears to be well on the path to UHC, there are identifiable gaps in service quality and a requirement for ongoing strengthening of financial protections. Some of the key challenges remain to be faced, such as the fragmented and inequitable health delivery system, and the increasing demand for high-quality and value-based service delivery. Given that China has committed to achieving UHC and ‘Healthy China 2030’, the evidence from this study can be suggestive of furthering on in the UHC journey and taking the policy steps necessary to secure change.
Background Many countries, including China, have identified the primary health care system as a reform priority. The purpose of this study is to compare the perceived service capacity of primary care from the perspectives of physicians and their patients in Sichuan province of China. Methods A cross-sectional survey was conducted through Quality and Costs of Primary Care (QUALICOPC) questionnaires. A representative sample of 319 primary care physicians and 641 patients in 48 primary healthcare settings were recruited to take part in the study. Results Physicians perceived equity of care the best, while quality of care was rated the highest from the perspective of patients. They both regarded coordination as the weakest dimension of primary care service capacity. Conclusions Although primary health care reform may have been effective in helping patients acquire better primary care services, our results suggest that coordination is still perceived to be problematic for both physicians and patients. Improving the coordination of care has to be one of the main goals in the future primary care reforms in China. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s12913-019-3964-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Background As social media platforms have become significant sources of information during the pandemic, a significant volume of both factual and inaccurate information related to the prevention of COVID-19 has been disseminated through social media. Thus, disparities in COVID-19 information verification across populations have the potential to promote the dissemination of misinformation among clustered groups of people with similar characteristics. Objective This study aimed to identify the characteristics of social media users who obtained COVID-19 information through unofficial social media accounts and were (1) most likely to change their health behaviors according to web-based information and (2) least likely to actively verify the accuracy of COVID-19 information, as these individuals may be susceptible to inaccurate prevention measures and may exacerbate transmission. Methods An online questionnaire consisting of 17 questions was disseminated by West China Hospital via its official online platforms, between May 18, 2020, and May 31, 2020. The questionnaire collected the sociodemographic information of 14,509 adults, and included questions surveying Chinese netizens’ knowledge about COVID-19, personal social media use, health behavioral change tendencies, and cross-verification behaviors for web-based information during the pandemic. Multiple stepwise regression models were used to examine the relationships between social media use, behavior changes, and information cross-verification. Results Respondents who were most likely to change their health behaviors after obtaining web-based COVID-19 information from celebrity sources had the following characteristics: female sex (P=.004), age ≥50 years (P=.009), higher COVID-19 knowledge and health literacy (P=.045 and P=.03, respectively), non–health care professional (P=.02), higher frequency of searching on social media (P<.001), better health conditions (P<.001), and a trust rating score of more than 3 for information released by celebrities on social media (P=.005). Furthermore, among participants who were most likely to change their health behaviors according to social media information released by celebrities, female sex (P<.001), living in a rural residence rather than first-tier city (P<.001), self-reported medium health status and lower health care literacy (P=.007 and P<.001, respectively), less frequent search for COVID-19 information on social media (P<.001), and greater level of trust toward celebrities’ social media accounts with a trust rating score greater than 1 (P≤.04) were associated with a lack of cross-verification of information. Conclusions The findings suggest that governments, health care agencies, celebrities, and technicians should combine their efforts to decrease the risk in vulnerable groups that are inclined to change health behaviors according to web-based information but do not perform any fact-check verification of the accuracy of the unofficial information. Specifically, it is necessary to correct the false information related to COVID-19 on social media, appropriately apply celebrities’ star power, and increase Chinese netizens’ awareness of information cross-verification and eHealth literacy for evaluating the veracity of web-based information.
BackgroundThe hierarchical medical system (HMS) refers to the classification of treatment according to disease priorities based on severity and difficulty to promote the fairness of medical services for residents, which is regarded as the key to the success of medical reform in China.MethodsIn the past decade of “New Medical Reform,” the efficiency of HMS, including secondary and tertiary hospitals and primary healthcare centers (PHCs), was measured horizontally and vertically by employing the combination of an output-oriented superefficiency slack-based model-data envelopment analysis (SE-SBM-DEA) model with the Malmquist total factor productivity index (MTFP). In the second stage, the overall technical efficiency (OTE) scores were regressed against a set of environmental characteristics and several managerial factors through bootstrapping truncated regression.ResultsOn average, the OTE score in tertiary hospitals was 0.93, which was higher than that in secondary hospitals and PHCs (0.9 and 0.92, respectively). In terms of trend, the OTE of tertiary hospitals declined at first and then increased. The opposite was true of secondary hospitals, in which the APC of the OTE was 10.82 and −3.11% in early and late 2012, respectively. The PHCs generally showed a fluctuating downward trend. In the aspects of productivity, all institutions showed a downturn by an annual average rate of 2.73, 0.51, and 2.70%, respectively. There was a significant negative relationship between the ratio of outpatients to inpatients and tertiary hospitals. Additionally, the medical technical personnel per 1,000 population negatively affected PHCs. In contrast, the GDP per capita had a significantly positive effect on tertiary hospitals, and the number of beds per 1,000 population positively influenced PHCs.ConclusionThe efficiency of medical institutions at various levels in HMS was unbalanced and took the form of an “inverted pyramid.” Multilateral factors influence the efficiency of HMS, and to address it, multi-intervention packages focusing on sinking high-quality medical resources and improving healthcare capacity, and guiding hierarchical medical practice should be adopted.
Background Aging population and other factors have led to a rapid rise in cancer incidence in China. However, under the influence of traditional perception of diseases, deaths and economic factors, many patients who are unresponsive to radical treatment are still adherent to excessive and unnecessary treatment, which may lead to poor quality of life (QoL) and increase unnecessary medical burden. Aim Compare the difference of the quality of life and cost-utility value between patients who received palliative care (PC) and patients who were adherent to conventional anticancer treatment (CAT) and provides empirical evidence of clinical and economic value for hospital-based PC. Methods Chinese Quality of Life Questionnaire (CQLQ) Scale was used to collect advanced cancer patients’ QoL on admission and discharge days. Paired and independent samples’ statistical analysis were used to compare inter- and intra- QoL between PC and CAT group. Delphi and Analytic Hierarchy Process were used to weight QoL scores and converted the QoL to quality-adjusted life years (QALYs). Propensity Score Matching (PSM) for 1:1 was used to compare average hospitalization expenses between two groups. The expense per QALYs was used for Cost-Utility analysis between the two treatments. Results A total of 248 hospitalized patients diagnosed with metastatic disease at stage IV were recruited from West China Fourth Hospital between January 2018 and August 2018, including 128 patients receiving PC and 120 patients receiving CAT. Although both treatments had positive effects on improving QoL for patients, the QoL in the PC group were significantly higher than that in the CAT group (55.90 ± 18.80 vs 24.00 ± 8.60, t = 7.51, p < 0.05). The QALY (days) of pre- and post- treatment increased by 55.9 and 24.0 days in PC and CAT group respectively. Compared average hospitalization expense in 613 pairs of advanced cancer inpatients after PSM 1:1, the per capita expense of PC group was higher (13,743.5 ± 11,574.1 vs 11,689.0 ± 8876.8, t = 3.44, p < 0.05), while each unit of QALYs paid by PC group was only 50% of that paid by those receiving CAT. Conclusions PC played a positive role in improving the QoL for patients diagnosed with advanced cancer and alleviating economic burdens of both patient families and the society from the viewpoint of cost-utility. Our findings imply that PC should be recognized as a proactive care model in China that helps patients with some terminal diseases.
ObjectivesLow-dose CT (LDCT) can help determine the early stage of lung cancer and reduce mortality. However, knowledge of lung cancer and lung cancer screening among community residents and medical workers, and potential factors that may affect medical institutions to set up LDCT are limited.DesignA cross-sectional study was conducted in Sichuan province, China, in 2021. Community residents, medical workers and medical institutions were randomly selected, and participants responded to related questionnaires. Knowledge of lung cancer and LDCT lung cancer screening was evaluated. Data analyses were performed using SAS V.9.4.ResultsA total of 35 692 residents, 6350 medical workers and 81 medical institutions were recruited; 4.05% of the residents were very familiar with lung cancer and 37.89% were (completely) unfamiliar. Characteristics, such as age and level of education, were significantly related to residents who were very familiar with lung cancer. Furthermore, 22.87% of the residents knew that LDCT can effectively screen for early-stage lung cancer, which was correlated with smoking (OR 1.1300; 95% CI 1.0540 to 1.2110; p=0.006) and family history of cancer (OR 1.2210; 95% CI 1.1400 to 1.3080; p<0.0001); 66.06% of medical workers believed that LDCT can detect early-stage lung cancer. Technicians and nurses were less knowledgeable than doctors about whether LDCT can effectively screen for early-stage lung cancer (OR 0.6976; 95% CI 0.5399 to 0.9015; p=0.0059 and OR 0.6970; 95% CI 0.5718 to 0.8496; p=0.0004, respectively). Setting up LDCT in medical institutions was related to grade, administrative rank, number of hospital beds that opened and total number of medical workers.ConclusionsThe knowledge of lung cancer in residents is relatively low, and the knowledge of LDCT in screening (early-stage) lung cancer needs to be improved both in residents and medical workers. Possible factors that affect medical institutions to set up LDCT may need to be incorporated.
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