Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2009

Comparing Public and Private Hospitals in China: Evidence from Guangdong

Karen Eggleston, Mingshan Lu, Congdong Li, Jian Wang, Zhe Yang, Jing Zhang

April 2009

Asia-Pacific Research Center


Government and private roles in health service delivery remain controversial in China, as in many countries. Using 2004 data from over 360 government-owned and private hospitals in Guangdong Province, we find that non-government hospitals serve an overlapping but distinct market. They are smaller, newer market entrants, more likely to specialize, and less likely to be included in urban social insurance networks. We also document differences in staffing and financial performance, but no systematic ownership differences in simple measures of quality, controlling for size, location, case-mix and other confounding factors.