China's healthcare reforms positive for global health
The impressive results achieved by China in healthcare system reforms in the past decade have made China a major contributor to the health of the world, Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of The BMJ, a world leading general medical journal, said.
Health system reforms are one of the biggest and most important challenges facing all countries and regions, and only few have made as much progress on such a large scale as China in the past 10 years, she said.
A healthier China is a great contributor to the health of the world, she said.
Godlee made the remarks at a ceremony held to release a dedicated collection of papers on China's health system reforms by The BMJ in Beijing on Saturday.
A forum also took place on the same day to review the health system reforms in China in the past decade, which was jointly initiated by Peking University Health Science Center and The BMJ, and organized by Peking University China Center for Health development Studies.
Government investment in healthcare increased after the reforms that started in 2009, with total health expenditure growing from 5 percent of GPD in 2009 to 6.4 percent in 2017, according to a paper of the collection.
China also has expanded its three main social health insurance programs to cover more than 95 percent of its population, while health expenditure paid by individuals dropped to 29 percent of the total health expenditure in 2017, and is estimated to be of about 25 percent in 2030.
Difference of maternal and infant mortality rates among rural and urban, rich and underdeveloped areas also have narrowed remarkably.
The reforms have also changed the financing model of China's public hospitals and primary care facilities, separating physicians' incomes from drug prescription in an attempt to lower medical cost for the people.