Health finance

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The mainland of China and Hong Kong have historically pursued different economic and social systems, one rooted in socialism and the other in capitalism. In recent years, China has moved toward a so-called socialist market economy, with social services such as housing, education, and health care increasingly marketized, privatized, and "societized" (shehuihua, i.e., the process of returning the responsibility to the society through community financing rather than state financing). This trend may render some degree of convergence between the mainland and Hong Kong systems. In health services, however, the two systems have shared some similarity in that while state organs, enterprises, and urban work units in the mainland have all along been part of a state-funded healthcare system,1 Hong Kong's public healthcare system also has strong features of a "national health service"—with the government providing extensive public health care to the population. Since the 1980s, both systems have undergone reforms and changes. Copyright © 2002 M.E. Sharpe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-67
JournalChinese Economy
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002


Cheung, A., & Gu, X. (2002). Health finance. The Chinese Economy, 35(6), 34-67. doi: 10.2753/CES1097-1475350634


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