Healthcare Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe: Overview and Possible Implications for China

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This article focuses on the healthcare system reforms in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) over the past decade. The first section provides an overview of healthcare financing, social insurance frameworks, and the public/private mix in service delivery. The second section discusses four reform challenges in CEE that are perhaps also relevant for China:

  1. subsidizing the supply side or demand side (that is, a national health service Beveridge model vs. Bismarckian social insurance);
  2. establishing a single payer or insurance competition;
  3. confronting the legacy of soft budget constraints; and
  4. provider payment reforms.

A brief conclusion uses the lens of current health policy controversies in Hungary to highlight some of the trade-offs implicit in the complex political economy of health system reforms.

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