A community-based approach to non-communicable chronic disease management within a context of advancing universal health coverage in China: progress and challenges.
Paralleled with the rapid socio-economic development and demographic transition, an epidemic of non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) has emerged in China over the past three decades, resulting in increased disease and economic burdens. Over the past decade, with a political commitment of implementing universal health coverage, China has strengthened its primary healthcare system and increased investment in public health interventions. A community-based approach to address NCDs has been acknowledged and recognized as one of the most cost-effective solutions. Community-based strategies include: financial and health administrative support; social mobilization; community health education and promotion; and the use of community health centers in NCD detection, diagnosis, treatment, and patient management. Although China has made good progress in developing and implementing these strategies and policies for NCD prevention and control, many challenges remain. There are a lack of appropriately qualified health professionals at grass-roots health facilities; it is difficult to retain professionals at that level; there is insufficient public funding for NCD care and management; and NCD patients are economically burdened due to limited benefit packages covering NCD treatment offered by health insurance schemes. To tackle these challenges we propose developing appropriate human resource policies to attract greater numbers of qualified health professionals at the primary healthcare level; adjusting the service benefit packages to encourage the use of community-based health services; and increase government investment in public health interventions, as well as investing more on health insurance schemes.
Xiao, N; Long, Q; Tang, X; Tang, S
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