Faculty Publications

Title

Economic costs of serious illness in rural southwest China: Household coping strategies and health policy implications

Document Type

Article

Keywords

China, Coping strategies, Development, Health policy, Rural health

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Human Organization

Volume

67

Issue

2

First Page

151

Last Page

163

Abstract

Today, some 10 million Chinese peasants fall below China's official poverty line annually because of illness. Currently, more than 80 percent of China's rural residents do not have any health insurance, and most of those who do still have to pay up to 90 percent of their medical costs. Despite the grave situation, very little is known about the strategies rural Chinese utilize to cope with the economic costs of illness. In this paper, I examine how households in a rural village in Southwest China contend with economic impacts of serious illness, and I discuss how development agencies can help to alleviate the situation. I first describe the study site and my research methods. Next, drawing on qualitative and quantitative data, I analyze 10 strategies rural households use to cope with the economic costs of serious illness. In the last section, I discuss the implications of this case study for health policy makers and development agencies in China and elsewhere in the developing world. Copyright © 2008 by the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2008

DOI of published version

10.17730/humo.67.2.g1522416854050m6

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