The current state of public health in China

Annu Rev Public Health. 2004;25:327-39. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.25.101802.123116.


In the past 50 years, China has made great achievements in controlling infectious diseases and improving the public's health and hygiene. However, in the twenty-first century, owing to the negative effects brought on by aging of the population and the burdens of diseases, urbanization, industrialization, and globalization, Chinese public health officials are encountering greater difficulties than ever. Old operating models of public health cannot meet present requirements. The main problems are poor capacity to respond to public health emergencies, severe inequality of health care services, and lagging development of public health information systems. Public health in China can gradually meet the requirements of social development and the increasing public demand for health care services only when the public health is directed by informatization, globalization, technification, and humanization.

MeSH terms

  • China / epidemiology
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Developing Countries*
  • Health Services
  • Humans
  • National Health Programs
  • Public Health*