The Chinese healthcare system: structure, problems and challenges

Appl Health Econ Health Policy. 2011;9(1):1-13. doi: 10.2165/11531800-000000000-00000.


We describe the structure and present situation of the Chinese healthcare system and discuss its primary problems and challenges. We discuss problems with inefficient burden sharing, adverse provider incentives and huge inequities, and seek explanations in the structural features of the Chinese healthcare system. The current situation will be further challenged in the future by an aging population, an increasing need for privatization and growing expectations about quality of healthcare.

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Financing, Government
  • Financing, Personal
  • Health Care Reform / organization & administration
  • Health Expenditures
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Reimbursement, Incentive
  • Rural Population
  • Workforce