Has equity in government subsidy on healthcare improved in China? Evidence from the China's National Health Services Survey

Lei Si, Mingsheng Chen, Andrew J. Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Monitoring the equity of government healthcare subsidies (GHS) is critical for evaluating the performance of health policy decisions. China's low-income population encounters barriers in accessing benefits from GHS. This paper focuses on the distribution of China's healthcare subsidies among different socio-economic populations and the factors that affect their equitable distribution. It examines the characteristics of equitable access to benefits in a province of northeastern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas. Methods: Benefit incidence analysis was applied to GHS data from two rounds of China's National Health Services Survey (2003 and 2008, N = 27,239) in Heilongjiang province, reflecting the information in 2002 and 2007 respectively. Concentration index (CI) was used to evaluate the absolute equity of GHSs in outpatient and inpatient healthcare services. A negative CI indicates disproportionate concentration of GHSs among the poor, while a positive CI indicates the GHS is pro-rich, a CI of zero indicates perfect equity. In addition, Kakwani index (KI) was used to evaluate the progressivity of GHSs. A positive KI denotes the GHS is regressive, while a negative value denotes the GHS is progressive. Results: CIs for inpatient care in urban and rural residents were 0.2036 and 0.4497 respectively in 2002, and those in 2007 were 0.4433 and 0.5375. Likewise, CIs for outpatient care are positive in both regions in 2002 and 2007, indicating that both inpatient and outpatient GHSs were pro-rich in both survey periods irrespective of region. In addition, KIs for inpatient services were -0.3769 (urban) and 0.0576 (rural) in 2002 and those in 2007 were 0.0280 and 0.1868. KIs for outpatient service were -0.4278 (urban) and -0.1257 (rural) in 2002, those in 2007 were -0.2572 and -0.1501, indicating that equity was improved in GHS in outpatient care in both regions but not in inpatient services. Conclusions: The benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies has been strongly influenced by China's health insurance schemes. Their compensation policies and benefit packages need reform to improve the benefit equity between outpatient and inpatient care both in urban and rural areas.

LanguageEnglish
Article number6
Pages1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Government Financing
National Health Programs
Health Surveys
China
Delivery of Health Care
Inpatients
Ambulatory Care
Outpatients
Poverty
Health Insurance
Health Policy

Bibliographical note

Copyright The Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Benefit incidence analysis
  • Equity
  • Government health subsidy
  • Healthcare

Cite this

@article{a9a06e151f9a44c3a0024d562f426893,
title = "Has equity in government subsidy on healthcare improved in China? Evidence from the China's National Health Services Survey",
abstract = "Background: Monitoring the equity of government healthcare subsidies (GHS) is critical for evaluating the performance of health policy decisions. China's low-income population encounters barriers in accessing benefits from GHS. This paper focuses on the distribution of China's healthcare subsidies among different socio-economic populations and the factors that affect their equitable distribution. It examines the characteristics of equitable access to benefits in a province of northeastern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas. Methods: Benefit incidence analysis was applied to GHS data from two rounds of China's National Health Services Survey (2003 and 2008, N = 27,239) in Heilongjiang province, reflecting the information in 2002 and 2007 respectively. Concentration index (CI) was used to evaluate the absolute equity of GHSs in outpatient and inpatient healthcare services. A negative CI indicates disproportionate concentration of GHSs among the poor, while a positive CI indicates the GHS is pro-rich, a CI of zero indicates perfect equity. In addition, Kakwani index (KI) was used to evaluate the progressivity of GHSs. A positive KI denotes the GHS is regressive, while a negative value denotes the GHS is progressive. Results: CIs for inpatient care in urban and rural residents were 0.2036 and 0.4497 respectively in 2002, and those in 2007 were 0.4433 and 0.5375. Likewise, CIs for outpatient care are positive in both regions in 2002 and 2007, indicating that both inpatient and outpatient GHSs were pro-rich in both survey periods irrespective of region. In addition, KIs for inpatient services were -0.3769 (urban) and 0.0576 (rural) in 2002 and those in 2007 were 0.0280 and 0.1868. KIs for outpatient service were -0.4278 (urban) and -0.1257 (rural) in 2002, those in 2007 were -0.2572 and -0.1501, indicating that equity was improved in GHS in outpatient care in both regions but not in inpatient services. Conclusions: The benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies has been strongly influenced by China's health insurance schemes. Their compensation policies and benefit packages need reform to improve the benefit equity between outpatient and inpatient care both in urban and rural areas.",
keywords = "Benefit incidence analysis, Equity, Government health subsidy, Healthcare",
author = "Lei Si and Mingsheng Chen and Palmer, {Andrew J.}",
note = "Copyright The Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1186/s12939-017-0516-z",
language = "English",
volume = "16",
pages = "1--9",
journal = "International Journal for Equity in Health",
issn = "1475-9276",
publisher = "Springer, Springer Nature",
number = "1",

}

Has equity in government subsidy on healthcare improved in China? Evidence from the China's National Health Services Survey. / Si, Lei; Chen, Mingsheng; Palmer, Andrew J.

In: International Journal for Equity in Health, Vol. 16, No. 1, 6, 10.01.2017, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Has equity in government subsidy on healthcare improved in China? Evidence from the China's National Health Services Survey

AU - Si, Lei

AU - Chen, Mingsheng

AU - Palmer, Andrew J.

N1 - Copyright The Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

PY - 2017/1/10

Y1 - 2017/1/10

N2 - Background: Monitoring the equity of government healthcare subsidies (GHS) is critical for evaluating the performance of health policy decisions. China's low-income population encounters barriers in accessing benefits from GHS. This paper focuses on the distribution of China's healthcare subsidies among different socio-economic populations and the factors that affect their equitable distribution. It examines the characteristics of equitable access to benefits in a province of northeastern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas. Methods: Benefit incidence analysis was applied to GHS data from two rounds of China's National Health Services Survey (2003 and 2008, N = 27,239) in Heilongjiang province, reflecting the information in 2002 and 2007 respectively. Concentration index (CI) was used to evaluate the absolute equity of GHSs in outpatient and inpatient healthcare services. A negative CI indicates disproportionate concentration of GHSs among the poor, while a positive CI indicates the GHS is pro-rich, a CI of zero indicates perfect equity. In addition, Kakwani index (KI) was used to evaluate the progressivity of GHSs. A positive KI denotes the GHS is regressive, while a negative value denotes the GHS is progressive. Results: CIs for inpatient care in urban and rural residents were 0.2036 and 0.4497 respectively in 2002, and those in 2007 were 0.4433 and 0.5375. Likewise, CIs for outpatient care are positive in both regions in 2002 and 2007, indicating that both inpatient and outpatient GHSs were pro-rich in both survey periods irrespective of region. In addition, KIs for inpatient services were -0.3769 (urban) and 0.0576 (rural) in 2002 and those in 2007 were 0.0280 and 0.1868. KIs for outpatient service were -0.4278 (urban) and -0.1257 (rural) in 2002, those in 2007 were -0.2572 and -0.1501, indicating that equity was improved in GHS in outpatient care in both regions but not in inpatient services. Conclusions: The benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies has been strongly influenced by China's health insurance schemes. Their compensation policies and benefit packages need reform to improve the benefit equity between outpatient and inpatient care both in urban and rural areas.

AB - Background: Monitoring the equity of government healthcare subsidies (GHS) is critical for evaluating the performance of health policy decisions. China's low-income population encounters barriers in accessing benefits from GHS. This paper focuses on the distribution of China's healthcare subsidies among different socio-economic populations and the factors that affect their equitable distribution. It examines the characteristics of equitable access to benefits in a province of northeastern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas. Methods: Benefit incidence analysis was applied to GHS data from two rounds of China's National Health Services Survey (2003 and 2008, N = 27,239) in Heilongjiang province, reflecting the information in 2002 and 2007 respectively. Concentration index (CI) was used to evaluate the absolute equity of GHSs in outpatient and inpatient healthcare services. A negative CI indicates disproportionate concentration of GHSs among the poor, while a positive CI indicates the GHS is pro-rich, a CI of zero indicates perfect equity. In addition, Kakwani index (KI) was used to evaluate the progressivity of GHSs. A positive KI denotes the GHS is regressive, while a negative value denotes the GHS is progressive. Results: CIs for inpatient care in urban and rural residents were 0.2036 and 0.4497 respectively in 2002, and those in 2007 were 0.4433 and 0.5375. Likewise, CIs for outpatient care are positive in both regions in 2002 and 2007, indicating that both inpatient and outpatient GHSs were pro-rich in both survey periods irrespective of region. In addition, KIs for inpatient services were -0.3769 (urban) and 0.0576 (rural) in 2002 and those in 2007 were 0.0280 and 0.1868. KIs for outpatient service were -0.4278 (urban) and -0.1257 (rural) in 2002, those in 2007 were -0.2572 and -0.1501, indicating that equity was improved in GHS in outpatient care in both regions but not in inpatient services. Conclusions: The benefit distribution of government healthcare subsidies has been strongly influenced by China's health insurance schemes. Their compensation policies and benefit packages need reform to improve the benefit equity between outpatient and inpatient care both in urban and rural areas.

KW - Benefit incidence analysis

KW - Equity

KW - Government health subsidy

KW - Healthcare

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85008627071&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1186/s12939-017-0516-z

DO - 10.1186/s12939-017-0516-z

M3 - Article

VL - 16

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - International Journal for Equity in Health

T2 - International Journal for Equity in Health

JF - International Journal for Equity in Health

SN - 1475-9276

IS - 1

M1 - 6

ER -