Use of Guanxi and Other Strategies in Dealing with the Chinese Health Care System

22 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2013 Last revised: 1 Apr 2013

See all articles by Neil M. I. Munro

Neil M. I. Munro

University of Glasgow

Jane Duckett

University of Glasgow

Kate Hunt

University of Glasgow

Matt Sutton

University of Manchester

Date Written: March 24, 2013

Abstract

Chinese citizens are accustomed to dealing with risk and making choices about how to get things done. Such choices are evident in popular responses to hypothetical situations corresponding to three typical unethical practices in Chinese hospitals: overprescribing medicines not covered by insurance, encouraging patients to take unnecessary diagnostic tests, and taking bribes (“red envelopes” or hong bao) for treatment which has already formally been paid for. Using nationally representative survey data, this study examines public perceptions of the likelihood of encountering these practices in local county or district hospitals as well as preferences between different strategies for dealing with them. We develop and test hypotheses about the social structural determinants of preferred strategies: focussing on urban versus rural contexts, level of development, gender, age, education and income. The conclusion considers the implications of the findings for policies designed to mitigate unethical practices.

Keywords: health care utilization, guanxi, bribery, hongbao, China, incentive structures, unethical practice, connections, overprescribing, unnecessary diagnostic tests

Suggested Citation

Munro, Neil M. I. and Duckett, Jane and Hunt, Kate and Sutton, Matt, Use of Guanxi and Other Strategies in Dealing with the Chinese Health Care System (March 24, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2240357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2240357

Neil M. I. Munro (Contact Author)

University of Glasgow ( email )

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom
+441413307628 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gla.ac.uk/petu

Jane Duckett

University of Glasgow ( email )

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

Kate Hunt

University of Glasgow ( email )

Adam Smith Business School
Glasgow, Scotland G12 8LE
United Kingdom

Matt Sutton

University of Manchester ( email )

Oxford Road
Manchester, N/A M13 9PL
United Kingdom

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