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Household Registration System, Migration, and Inequity in Healthcare Access

Faculty of Economics and Management, Sun Yat-sen University, West Xingang Rd. 135, Guangzhou 510275, China
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Healthcare 2019, 7(2), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare7020061
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 3 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
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Abstract

This study investigates the influence of the household registration system on rural–urban disparity in healthcare access (including healthcare quality, blood pressure check, blood test, vision test, dental examination, and breast exam), using data from a large-scale nationwide life history survey that covered 150 counties across 28 provinces and municipalities in China. In contrast to the findings of many previous studies that emphasize the disparity in the residence place as the cause of rural–urban disparity in healthcare access, this study finds that the residence place just has a very limited influence on healthcare access in China, and what really matters is the household registration type. Our empirical results show that people with a non-rural household registration type generally have better healthcare access than those with a rural one. For rural residents, changing the registration type of their household (from rural to non-rural) can improve their healthcare access, whereas changing the residence place or migrating from rural to urban areas have no effect. Therefore, mere rural-to-urban migration may not be a valid measure to eliminate the rural–urban disparity in healthcare access, unless the institution of healthcare resource allocation is reformed. View Full-Text
Keywords: inequity; healthcare access; rural–urban disparity; household registration system; healthcare resource allocation; migration inequity; healthcare access; rural–urban disparity; household registration system; healthcare resource allocation; migration
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Yuan, B.; Li, J.; Wang, Z.; Wu, L. Household Registration System, Migration, and Inequity in Healthcare Access. Healthcare 2019, 7, 61.

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