China's Healthcare System: Addressing Capacity Shortfalls Before and After COVID-19   [open pdf - 976KB]

From the Introduction: "The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) views the delivery of high-quality healthcare as an important aspect of its own political legitimacy. While China's government has made significant improvements to healthcare in the past decade, the healthcare system has not kept pace with many of the changing needs of China's population. As life expectancy has increased in China, so too has the burden of chronic diseases and the need for long-term and hospice care--problems the healthcare system remains underequipped to address. These problems are compounded by persistent budget shortfalls in many of China's healthcare institutions that contribute to a widespread corruption problem. Aware of the potential for these challenges to undermine political stability in China, Chinese policymakers have prioritized reform of the healthcare system. This report reviews challenges in China's domestic healthcare system and examines the efforts of China's policymakers to address these challenges. It also examines Chinese policymakers' attempts to promote TCM [traditional Chinese medicine] both domestically and internationally. The report draws on the Commission's May 2020 hearing on 'China's Evolving Healthcare Ecosystem: Challenges and Opportunities' and open source research. It expands on topics explored in Chapter 2, Section 3 of the Commission's 2020 Annual Report, 'U.S.-China Links in Healthcare and Biotechnology.'"

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