The COVID-19 pandemic and China’s health care system: Current impact and long-term prospects

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The COVID-19 pandemic is a real crisis for global and national economies and health systems around the world. It has already taken many lives, and many people are still complaining about the consequences of being infected with this virus. The pandemic has demonstrated the weaknesses of national health systems - the unpreparedness for emergencies and their rapid prevention. These problems were expressed in the inability to detect the threat early, overloaded medical facilities, acute shortage of personal protective equipment and personnel. Nevertheless, the success of China in the fight against the virus, expressed in effective containment tactics, as well as in the reduction of COVID-19 incidence in the country, cannot be overlooked. The purpose of this article is to analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the PRC health care system and its medical reforms. Since 2012, large-scale reforms have been carried out in China to achieve a “basic healthcare system with Chinese features.” Universal health coverage is extremely important because it helps, in addition to equality, to achieve financial well-being for citizens and economic development for the country. The following results were obtained: despite the abundance of negative consequences for the economy and health of citizens, the pandemic contributed to the successful implementation of information technologies in health care; had a positive impact on the relationship between Chinese doctors and patients (which has been in deep crisis for a long time); became the reason for China’s leadership in the world vaccine market for the first time in history. Thus, we can conclude about the dual impact of COVID-19 on the industry. The pandemic has already led to a number of significant changes, and now another wave of infections is hampering reform goals, including the Healthy China 2030 program, which will affect the health and wellbeing of 1.4 billion Chinese, but making long-term predictions in an ever-changing environment is impossible. As practice has shown, initial success in combating the disease is not enough: plans to recover from one health crisis have been replaced by yet another plan to fight the new wave of COVID-19.

About the authors

Maryana A. Gubina

Saint-Petersburg State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0672-8097

PhD in Economics, Associate Professor, Department of World Economy, Faculty of Economics

7-9 Universitetskaya Embankment, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

Daria V. Terenteva

Saint-Petersburg State University

4th year undergraduate student of the “Economics (with advanced study of Chinese economy and Chinese language)”, Faculty of Economics 7-9 Universitetskaya Embankment, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Gubina M.A., Terenteva D.V.

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