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Trends in health services utilization in eight provinces in China, 1989-1993

G. E. Henderson, John Akin, P. M. Hutchinson, S. G. Jin, J. M. Wang, J. Dietrich and L. M. Mao

Social Science & Medicine, 1998, vol. 47, issue 12, 1957-1971

Abstract: Continued pursuit of market-oriented reforms in China seems to have resulted in increasing income disparities. This has raised concerns about possible declines in the use of health services by the poor. Using data from three waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (1989, 1991, 1993), we examine whether people age 20-45 in eight provinces became less likely to seek care when ill. We carried out three probit estimations of seeking care when ill; the predictor variables include individual and workplace characteristics, a measure of the severity of illness and community level factors. Health care is broadly defined to include basic level clinics as well as urban hospitals. We find no evidence that health care utilization is decreasing. Rather, for people in a community survey reporting mainly mild or moderate illness, health care continues to be accessible. We consider possible limits of our study and discuss extensively the implications of the use of illness reports from the three cross-sectional surveys as health status indicators.

Keywords: China; health; services; utilization; medical; insurance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998
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