Asian Bioethics Review

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 21–40 | Cite as

Lessons and prospects of Universal Health Coverage in China: the importance of equity, quality, and affordability

  • Li Zhong 
  • Li Jun Email author
Original Paper


China’s efforts in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) since the birth of the People’s Republic in 1949 has passed four stages: (1) 1949–1983, Maoist UHC; (2) 1984–2003, Deng’s Free-market healthcare experiment; (3) 2004–2008, response to people’s call and restorative efforts; (4) 2009-present, reducing fragmentation, co-payment and improving primary care. The efforts of the first three stages aimed more at extending coverage and service scope, and those of the fourth stage for better equity, quality, and affordability. This article updates recent efforts in the fourth stage and looks ahead to the future after 2018, with the hope of providing references for the world in healthcare reform and development.


Universal Health Coverage China Health policy Healthcare reform 



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Copyright information

© National University of Singapore and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Peking University Institute for Medical HumanitiesBeijingChina

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