China is currently undertaking reform of its health-care system. This is to particularly make it affordable to the poor in the Chinese population. Under the New Rural Co-operative Medical Care System (NRCMCS) the annual cost of medical coverage is 50 yuan (US$ 7) per person.
20 yuan in given by the central government, another 20 yuan by the provincial government and the remaining 10 yuan by the patient. As of September 2007, about 685 million people had signed up.
In 2005 China had about 1,938,000 physicians and about 3,074,000 hospital beds. However, about 80% of the health and medical care services are concentrated in the cities, and timely medical care is not available to more than 100 million people in rural areas. Efforts have been made to increase number of village clinics in the rural areas to improve health care services.
Traditional medicine today continues alongside Western medicine. Traditional physicians undergo professional training and offer their services before one seeks medical attention or after.
The two groups of physicians however differ in opinions as well as techniques. This has led to lack of cooperation between the two. One has to make a decision whether to undergo western treatment or traditional treatment.
Traditional treatments include: herbal treatments, acupuncture, acupressure and moxibustion. These are used to treat ailments and conditions as well. Conditions treated include; appendicitis, pancreatitis and gallstones.
There is said to be a shortage of doctors and nurses in China. More doctors are being trained but they aim to leave the countryside in favor of the cities leaving significant shortages in rural areas. When all negative factors are dealt with in china, I believe it will emerge the best globally in provision of health care.