Health Disparities in China: Mapping the Way Forward


The formal adoption of the ‘Healthy China 2030’ blueprint on October 25, 2016, marked a turning point in the evolution of China’s public health policy reforms. The significance of this national strategic plan, with 12 well-defined targets to meet by 2030, lies in its focus on preventative health policies, as opposed to reactive policies that the government had taken in all of its previous policy endeavors. The core components of the plan include the reduction of premature deaths from non-communicable (chronic) diseases by 30 percent and the improvement in indicators of a healthy lifestyle.
Our study highlights how multiple health indicators interact and suggests that any policy targeting reduction of chronic disease and lifestyle modification must account for unique cultural, economic, demographic, and environmental peculiarities in each province. In other words, the way forward to reducing premature chronic disease mortality requires a tailored approach by region. Furthermore, our findings identify clusters of provinces by their risk level. Focusing on the provinces with the highest risk may be a cost-effective approach to achieve policy targets.

Updated/Published June 25, 2020