China’s 19th CPC Congress: Redefining Economic Growth

Jabin T. Jacob, PhD, Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies

There are several aspects of the recently concluded 19th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) that are noteworthy for India.

First, CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping has attempted to redefine what acceptable economic growth is in China. The expression ‘contradiction’ is an important one in the Chinese communist lexicon and until the 19th Party Congress, the ‘principal contradiction’ was the one between ‘the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production’ or, in other words, China’s inability to provide for the basic material needs of its people. Following nearly 40 years of economic reforms, this challenge has now been met with China eradicating poverty at the most massive scale and at the quickest pace in human history.

This process has, however, also resulted in rising income inequalities between individuals and between regions in China, and massive environmental damage and health crises across the country. Continue reading “China’s 19th CPC Congress: Redefining Economic Growth”

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Family physicians to play a bigger role in medical care in China

Madhurima Nundy, Associate Fellow, Institute of Chinese Studies.

One of the major programme priorities of China’s health care reforms that was announced in 2009 was strengthening of primary level services and the development of general practice in order to improve accessibility. China recently announced that it plans to expand the family physician services to all its citizens by 2020. The family physician or the general physician (GP) as the gatekeeper to the health service system is the hallmark of the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK where every citizen is assigned a GP. In India, where medical care is highly privatised and unregulated, the GP is a dying breed and is no longer able to stand up to a system now increasingly dominated by specialists. There is no regulated referral system that ensures rational distribution of services and market forces have put demands for more number of specialists thus creating a top-heavy system.

Continue reading “Family physicians to play a bigger role in medical care in China”