The political economy of Chinese health reform
Political economy studies of health policy offer more than simple economic or political studies. Politics can have a greater influence on health policy decisions and their implementation than either economic or health considerations. Politics constrain how much of an optimal economic or health programme can be adopted and implemented. At the same time, the economic interests of the stakeholders drive their political positions on any potential policy change. We need more political economy studies to understand how to craft and execute politically viable âbestâ health policies. This editorial uses the decision choices facing Chinaâs health reform to illustrate the importance of political economic analysis and argues for more integrated political economy studies, particularly ones examining the roles of the health bureaucracy and the medical profession.