A Chinese population which now exceeds a billion people has yet to confront issues of how to provide health care to such a large group. The Chinese government at the launch of World Health Day announced a three year program to expand health care throughout the country. For decades, under Chinese communism a vast social welfare system guaranteed people they would receive government aid, but as that system has been dismantled there is yet to emerge a new one geared to life in semi-capitalist China. The basic premise of the new approach is to provide basic health-care as a public service. In moving toward such a goal there must be enormous expenditures in terms of facilities and a medical staff that could meet the needs of China.
It remains to be seen whether the new initiative is more than pious words expressed to meet world complaints or will it be a serious effort to ensure every person has access to decent health care.