If you’ve somehow avoided the news all weekend, the United States just passed a bill on healthcare reform, which is the first step in a long line towards actual change. Less well known (probably because of the lack of flashy partisan politics) is China’s attempt to reform it’s own healthcare system, which is a daunting task in its own way.
Reuters reports that the Chinese government is experimenting with expanding basic health care to its 1.4 billion citizens, for whom a trip to the hospital can cost exorbitant amounts of money. The plan includes revamping hospitals in rural areas with the fundamental necessities they need to function. You know, like heat and basic medical supplies. The estimated cost of the reforms is around US$124 billion, and will be rolled out over the next three years through 2011.
So while the US is trying to reform a bloated and inefficient system, China is attempting to provide its citizens with a modicum of coverage nationwide. We guess healthcare will just be one more topic for Hu Jintao and Barack Obama to discuss before moving on to trade issues, which, according to China daily, are really at the heart of healthcare reform in the United States