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Open Access Research article

An analysis of farmers' perception of the new cooperative medical system in Liaoning Province, China

Xilong Pan, Ying Zhang*, Li Xu, Ju Huang and Qianqian Zhao

Author Affiliations

Peking University Health Science Center, School of Public Health, Health Policy and Management Department, No.38 Xue Yuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, PR China

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BMC Health Services Research 2009, 9:230  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-9-230

Published: 12 December 2009

Abstract

Background

Since 2003, the number of pilot areas of the New Rural Cooperative Medical System (NRCMS) has increased in rural China. And the major efforts have been concentrated on the enrollment of prospective members. In this study, we examined the satisfaction of the rural residents with the NRCMS as well as factors affecting their attitudes towards the NRCMS.

Methods

The data for this study were collected from a survey involving twenty counties in Liaoning Province. Interviews and focus groups were conducted between 10th January and 20th August 2008. A total of 2,780 people aged 18-72 were randomly selected and interviewed. Data were evaluated by nonparametric tests and ordinal regression models.

Results

71.6% of the study subjects were satisfied with the NRCMS. Single factor analysis showed that attitudes towards the NRCMS were influenced by gender, age, marital status, and self-rated health status. In the ordinal regression analysis, gender, age, and self-rated health status affect satisfaction (P < 0.05).

Conclusions

We found that a considerable proportion of farmers were satisfied with the NRCMS. Gender, age, and self-rated health status had significant effects on farmers' attitudes towards the NRCMS. The Chinese Central Government attempted to adopt active measures in the future to continuously improve the NRCMS, including initiating educational programs, building new medical facilities and increasing financial investment.