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Equity and the utilization of health services: Report of an eight-province survey in China

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  • Henderson, Gail
  • Akin, John
  • Zhiming, Li
  • Shuigao, Jin
  • Haijiang, Ma
  • Keyou, Ge

Abstract

This paper investigates equity with respect to one component of welfare in China--the provision and use of health services. Based upon a large-scale survey of almost 16,000 individuals in eight provinces in China, we examine a sub-sample of working-age adults who have identified themselves as injured or ill during the four weeks prior to being interviewed. We found that, beyond the level of severity of the reported condition, very few individual-level factors are related to the use of services when ill or injured. Only gender (female) and employment in state-run enterprises are associated with higher patterns of use. These results suggest that China has achieved a very wide distribution of clinics and other services at the local level, and that they are widely used by those who identify need for them. It is rare to be over half an hour away by bike from some form of care and the majority of care appears to be reasonably inexpensive. This broad availability of services contrasts with recent reports from China stressing declining accessibility, and paints a picture of relatively equal access to health care.

Suggested Citation

  • Henderson, Gail & Akin, John & Zhiming, Li & Shuigao, Jin & Haijiang, Ma & Keyou, Ge, 1994. "Equity and the utilization of health services: Report of an eight-province survey in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 39(5), pages 687-699, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:39:y:1994:i:5:p:687-699
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Zhuo & Eastwood, David B. & Yen, Steven T., 2005. "Childhood Malnutrition In China: Change Of Inequality In A Decade," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19205, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Banister, Judith & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2005. "China, Economic Development and Mortality Decline," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 21-41, January.
    3. Habtom, GebreMichael Kibreab & Ruys, Pieter, 2007. "The choice of a health care provider in Eritrea," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 202-217, January.
    4. Chen, Zhuo & Meltzer, David, 2008. "Beefing up with the Chans: Evidence for the effects of relative income and income inequality on health from the China Health and Nutrition Survey," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2206-2217, June.
    5. Bredenkamp, Caryn, 2008. "Health reform, population policy and child nutritional status in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4587, The World Bank.
    6. Bredenkamp, Caryn, 2009. "Policy-related determinants of child nutritional status in China: The effect of only-child status and access to healthcare," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(10), pages 1531-1538, November.
    7. Khe, N. D. & Toan, N. V. & Xuan, L. T. T. & Eriksson, B. & Hojer, B. & Diwan, V. K., 2002. "Primary health concept revisited: Where do people seek health care in a rural area of Vietnam?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 95-109, July.
    8. Chen, Zhuo & Eastwood, David B. & Yen, Steven T., 2007. "A decade's story of childhood malnutrition inequality in China: Where you live does matter," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 139-154.
    9. Qian, Dongfu & Lucas, Henry & Chen, Jiaying & Xu, Ling & Zhang, Yaoguang, 2010. "Determinants of the use of different types of health care provider in urban China: A tracer illness study of URTI," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 98(2-3), pages 227-235, December.
    10. Gordon G. Liu & Xiaodong Wu & Chaoyang Peng & Alex Z. Fu, 2003. "Urbanization And Health Care In Rural China," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 11-24, January.

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