Health expenditure in China 2000-2018

In 2018, the total expenditure on health care in China reached over 5.9 trillion yuan. That figure included government spending, collective spending, and private out-of-pocket spending on health care.

Health expenditures worldwide

The health expenditure in China has soared from under 500 billion yuan in 2000 to almost six trillion in 2018. The reasons behind this growth are multifold. Most important factors are the increasing living standards and the aging of the population. In terms of relative numbers, health expenditure as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has also been increasing in general in the last two decades and reached over six percent in the last three years. This indicates the growing importance the government attributed to the health care in the country. However, this is still a relatively low share of GDP when compared to other more developed countries, for example Australia or South Korea.

Health care in China

The same phenomenon is reflected in the increase in private per capita health expenditure of Chinese households as well, which has nearly tripled in the last decade for Beijing, as the region with the highest private health expenditure in China. Health insurance is voluntary in China, but the share of the population being covered by a basic health insurance has grown quickly in the last ten years. In 2017, the number of people covered by basic health insurance surpassed one billion for the first time. In 2018, more than 95 percent of the population enjoyed at least a basic health insurance. Additional commercial health insurances were especially purchased by people working as executives or professionals.

Health expenditure in China from 2000 to 2018

Health expenditures in billion yuan
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Sources

Release date

October 2019

Region

China

Survey time period

2000 to 2018

Supplementary notes

Note: 1 yuan is approximately equal to 0.13 euros and 0.14 U.S. dollars (as of January 2020).

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