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China’s New 21st-Century Realities

Social Equity in a Time of Change

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Edited By Richard Greggory Johnson III

China’s New 21 st -Century Realities: Social Equity in a Time of Change examines the new social justice realities in China. Often when people think of China they think of a very rigid, patriarchal society where oppression is the order of the day. However, this book aims to debunk some of those preconceived notions by addressing issues such as single men living in rural China, professional women in politics, and the baggage that comes with being considered an outsider. The book looks at China through a critical social justice prism that has seldom been used before. Contributors also take on race and ethnicity as a means to understanding that China, like many nations in the world, is becoming increasingly diverse in many areas including religion and gender roles. This book is a must read for anyone that is truly interested in unlearning what they believe they know about human rights in China.

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Chapter Three: Narrowing the Gap: Urban-Rural Inequalities in Healthcare Utilization in China

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c h a p t e r t h r e e i n t r o d u c t i o n Reasons for Healthcare System Reforms According to Liu, Rao, Wu, and Gakidou (2008), the public’s complaints about it being “too expensive to see a doctor” and “too difficult to see a doctor” eventu- ally led to government action to reform China’s healthcare system (p. 1914). In April 2009 the Chinese government announced its comprehensive reform plan with the aim of establishing a universal healthcare system in which “safe, effective, convenient, and affordable basic health services” are available to all its citizens (Meng & Tang, 2010, para. 1). The following briefly describes how China made its transition from a health system in which preventive and basic healthcare services were affordable and accessible to almost all its citizens (i.e., The Mao Era Health System) to one in which even the most basic healthcare services were unafford- able for a lot of people, and poverty, or a return to poverty due to high medical expenses, became a widespread problem (i.e., 1980–2003 health system) (Yip & Hsiao, 2008). The Mao Era Health System It is well documented that during the Mao era (between the 1950s and 1980s) China built a healthcare system in which preventive and basic healthcare services Narrowing the Gap: Urban-Rural Inequalities in Healthcare Utilization in China junfang wang1 40 | junfang wang were affordable and accessible to almost all its citizens (Gao, Tang, Tolhurst, & Rao, 2001; Meng & Tang, 2010;...

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