Improving Access to and Affordability of Healthcare for TB Patients in China
Edited by: Prof. Shenglan Tang
China is the country with the second largest burden of both tuberculosis (TB), and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the world. China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the auspice of the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission and with the support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has been developing and implementing an innovative program on TB and MDR-TB care and control in a number of Chinese provinces to improve access to, and affordability for, quality TB care. One major challenge in tackling TB epidemic in China is how TB services can be effectively financed and delivered under the context of the on-going health system reform.
Three project cities (Zhenjiang of Jiangsu Province, Yichang of Hubei Province and Hanzhong of Shaanxi Province were selected to implement interventions related to the application of new diagnosis and treatment approaches and new financial mechanisms for TB care in 2013/14. These papers published in this special issue used the data from the survey carried out in early 2013 to understand current practice in financing TB/MDR-TB care in the three project cities and implications for equity, efficiency and effectiveness in relation to the provision, accessibility and utilization of TB/MDR-TB related services. It was also intended to generate baseline data that can be used to compare TB/MDR-TB care before and after the policy interventions and evaluate their effects/impacts at the end of project completion.
Researchers from three Chinese universities in Nanjing, Xi’an and Wuhan), with the support from Duke University/Duke Kunshan University, and China CDC, have carried out the data collection and analyses. This special issue is the collection of main papers presenting key findings on access to/use of TB care, and particularly financial affordability of healthcare, as well as impacts of the Chinese health insurance schemes on financial protections in care seeking for the TB patients in China.