Private Healthcare Expenditure in China: A Regional Comparative Analysis

Shangguang Yang, Danyang Wang, Lu Xu, Chunlan Wang, Xi Yang, Kevin Lo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Private (out-of-pocket) healthcare expenditure (PHCE) is a complex phenomenon that is shaped by many different factors. In this paper, we analyzed the influencing factors of PHCE in China, with a specific focus on regional differences. We found that old-age dependency ratio, income, and education have significant impacts on PHCE in all regions, whereas public HCE, number of beds in medical institutions, and economic development levels have significant impacts only in some regions. The results indicate that the government should pay attention to regional inequality and implement targeted adjustments for improving the health service system. In particular, we recommend: (1) monitoring regional inequality in PHCE and other healthcare issues to unmask geo-graphical differences in healthcare interventions; (2) adopting regional-specific policy measures—the government should divert some resources from eastern to western and central regions to increasing the support for public health undertakings and improve the quality of the local health services while providing matching medical resources by targeting the needs of the residents; (3) paying more attention to the healthcare demand of the elderly population; and (4) improving the education level of residents to improve public health and avoid high PHCE.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1374
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Health Policy
  • Health Information Management
  • Leadership and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Influencing factors
  • Private healthcare expenditures
  • Regional differences


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