Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

Health insurance in China

Although China has the world’s largest economy, the average individual is actually fairly poor.  Average incomes in the country are less than $15,000 per year, ranking #121 in the world.  However, a vast majority of Chinese have health insurance due to some recent reforms. A paper by Zhang et al. (2016) uses data from the 2011-2012 China […]

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What is China’s NMCS?

In 2003, China introduced the New Cooperative Medical Scheme(NCMS), a health insurance scheme for the rural population. What is the NCMS?  Hou et al. (2014) describe the NMCS as follows: As a voluntary and heavily subsidized scheme, it has seen extremely rapid growth of coverage in comparison with most new schemes in developing countries. By the […]

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Health Reform in China

What is health insurance like in China?  A 2011 paper by Zhong in Health Economics provides a nice overview, which I discuss in today’s post. Between the 1950s and the end of the 1970s, three primary insurance schemes covered almost all Chinese citizens. Cooperative Medical System (CMS).  This program existed in 90% of Chinese villages.  […]

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Economic Stimulus in the U.S. and China

“There is no such thing as shovel-ready projects.” – President Obama. Although some experts believe that President Obama’s stimulus package (i.e., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) helped stave off a recession, others believe it was mostly wasteful. What many people do not realize is that China too had its own economic stimulus […]

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Plastic Surgery in China

China standard is living as funds from export industries eventually trickle down into the earnings of (some) ordinary Chinese. Where are the Chinese spending their newfound wealth?  In part, the answer is self-beautification procedures.  According to the Economist: “China performs more cosmetic surgery than any country except America and Brazil. Almost 1.3m licensed procedures were […]

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Effect of delayed reimbursement on utilization of medical services

A recent paper by Hai Zhong (2011) finds that health insurance that provides immediate reimbursement for health care services significantly increases the likelihood of patients seeking outpatient treatment in China compared to reimbursement beneficiaries with a delay. China isn’t the only country where insurance companies provide delayed reimbursement. In fact, in France patients pay the full cost […]

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Smoking Prevention in China

“All tobacco companies are state-owned, and the industry provides signifiant revenue; it also directly employs more than half a million people. From the government’s perspective, smoking is important to stability, both economic and social.  Some cigarettes are even subsidized–the cheapest brands cost as little as thirty cents a pack, because officials fear that farmers will […]

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Malpractice in China

In the U.S., physicians often fear that if a patient experiences a bad health outcome, the physician will be liable for millions of dollars as part of a malpractice suit.  Although the malpractice system in the U.S. may be far from perfect, most physicians would certainly prefer it over the more informal forms of “malpractice” […]

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Famine is bad for your health

A study looking at the effect of the Great Famine: “Our results indicate that in-utero and early childhood exposure to famine had large negative effects on adult height, weight, weight-for-height, educational attainment and labor supply.” Not a shocker.

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Informal Payments in Public Healthcare

Healthcare Europa reports that despite being in a public healthcare system, many physicians receive informal payments to supplement their income. “The top doctors, the ones in managerial positions in hospitals, make 5-10 times their monthly salaries of Euros 1,000 to Euros 2,000 from informal payments. They will also take bribes on any new equipment or […]

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