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The rural cooperative medical system in China: Background, development, achievement and problems

  • Jiang Zhongyi
  • He Xiurong
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    Purpose – In recent years, the focus of the Chinese Government has deviated from economic growth to overall societal balance and harmony. One of the major policy adjustments is to strengthen the supply of public goods in rural areas and set up the rural cooperative medical system (RCMS) financed by both governments and farmers. The purpose of this paper is to outline the background, recent developments, achievements and problems of the RCMS and help people to understand the RCMS in China. Design/methodology/approach – This paper adopts a time approach, meaning the paper is organized by initiate background, system framework design, experiment and extension, achievement, problems and discussion about the RCMS development process. Findings – The Central Government intended to establish a new medical system in rural areas, so that farmers could protect themselves if they got sick. The paper finds that, with the help of the government, farmers have gradually accepted the medical cooperation system. The RCMS has rapidly been extended, and forms a basic medical security net for rural residents. The RCMS has achieved the initial goals of the policy reform: mitigating farmers' financial burden, increasing the number of visits to doctors, and reducing the cost of the RCMS. However, there are still some pending issues such as fund-raising, monitoring-efficiency, and medical targets that need to be solved. Originality/value – This paper is a general review, which provides a brief and general image of the Chinese RCMS and helps people to understand the RCMS in China.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal China Agricultural Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 73-81

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:caerpp:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:73-81
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