Differences and determinants in access to essential public health services in China: a case study with hypertension people and under-sixes as target population

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Since 2009, health reform had launched in China and essential public health services were provided for all residents to ensure service equity and accessibility, and to achieve sustained population-wide health improvement. This study aimed to investigate the differences and determinants among populations with different characteristics access to essential public health services in China, especially hypertension people and children aged 0-6 years.


A cross-sectional study with socio-demographic data analysis was undertaken to estimate distribution characteristics of receiving essential public health services of hypertension patients and children. Regular follow-ups and effective blood pressure control reflected the effective management for hypertension patients, and for children, public services provided were vaccination on schedule and regular physical check-up. Logistic regression was used to determine the predictors for effective management.


A total of 1 505 hypertension patients and 749 children were involved; 39.14% of hypertension participants could control their blood pressure in the normal range, and the rate in urban areas (43.61%) was higher than that in rural (31.88%). And 34.68% of them could receive more than 4 times follow-ups by the medical technician. Of 754 children, 79.84% could receive the periodic physical examination and 98.40% had vaccinated regularly. Children living in rural areas were more likely to have regular check-ups (83.96%) and regular vaccination (nearly 99%). Overall, geographic location and education level were the determinants of people access to essential public health services.


Implementation of the health reform since 2009 has headed China’s public health system in the right direction and promoted the improvement of public health system development. Our study highlights the growing needs for more public health services in China, and China’s public health system needs to be greatly improved in terms of its quality and accessibility.

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