Social Science in China, page(s): 41-60
Based on a nationwide field survey of “a thousand villages” in 30 Chinese provinces, this study employs the SF-8 global health status measure and the extended model of Grossman and its sequential probability regression to analyze the effects of public health, the access of basic medical services and the new rural cooperative medical system on the health of residents. The results show that the diagnostic and treatment level of village clinics has a marked effect on residents’ physiological health but no effect on their mental health; the distance from the nearest medical institution and the sewage discharge system have a fairly noticeable effect on all health indicators; drinking tap water has a positive effect on health; and the fund-raising level of the new rural cooperative medical system has little effect on the health of residents, with its effect typically seen in reducing the individual economic risks of patients with serious diseases and promoting social harmony. Age, educational level and other individual factors have a remarkable effect on health. Our research supports the government’s development policy of placing the emphasis of rural health expenditure on grassroots medical services and public health, and verifies that the goal of the new cooperative scheme is to eliminate the economic risks of catastrophic diseases.