Is healthcare spending growing in China?
China's government is stepping up investment in healthcare services, with total spending increasing by a factor of five between 2004 and 2014 (4), according to World Health Organization (WHO) data (4), as it has built facilities and increased the supply of medical services.
A further source of demand for healthcare comes from Chinese citizens' increasing spending on medical services. As incomes rise and healthcare options increase, consumers are spending more on private healthcare, with total private spending growing an estimated 16.4% per year between 2005 and 2014, according to WHO data (4).
And while the rates of both public and private health expenditure are growing fast, there is still significant room for growth because actual healthcare spending levels in China remain low by international standards, with healthcare spending in estimated at 5.5% of GDP in 2014, compared with 10.2% in Japan, and 17.1% in the US, according to WHO data.