China and the Global Health Regime: Alienation or Integration?

  • Lai-Ha Chan
Part of the Palgrave Series on Asian Governance book series (PSAG)


Perhaps in his revolutionary life Mao Zedong never considered the notion of public goods for health. However, from the above quotation it is obvious that he realized that public health care services should be accessible to all citizens, rich and poor. Under his cradle-to-grave government-subsidized health care system, the government bore responsibility to provide basic health services, allowing Chinese citizens to enjoy various types of basic health care. As a socialist country, China provided its citizens with the means to meet their essential social needs, ranging from work to education to health care, until after the launch of economic reforms and the open door policy in the late 1970s. During Mao’s planned economy period, China’s health policies emphasized wide entitlement and access to medical care. The government played a dominant role in providing all citizens with a comprehensive medical system. At that time, more than 90 percent of China’s population was covered by a comprehensive government-subsidized health care system.3


Global Health Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Basic Health Care Global Public Good 
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© Lai-Ha Chan 2011

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  • Lai-Ha Chan

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