News FocusChina

World's Biggest Health Care System Goes Under the Knife

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Science  01 Feb 2013:
Vol. 339, Issue 6119, pp. 505-507
DOI: 10.1126/science.339.6119.505

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China is on a spending spree on health care, with total outlays predicted to triple from $357 billion in 2011 to $1 trillion in 2020, when the government hopes to have implemented universal coverage. The reforms include expanding insurance coverage, reconfiguring drug pricing, and promoting primary care, as well as money for research into traditional Chinese medicines and an overhaul of the drug pricing system—a move that could affect pharmaceutical research. The health ministry, meanwhile, is pushing the training of more medical professionals, updating China's mental health infrastructure and backing the development of hospitals.