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Elderly healthcare service at the community health centers in the Pearl River Delta region, China
  1. Nan Yang1,
  2. Xiaolin Wei1,
  3. Haitao Li1,
  4. Zhenzhen Zhang1,
  5. Jamie Rodas1,
  6. Samuel YS Wong1,
  7. Martin CS Wong1,
  8. Yang Gao1,
  9. Jiaji Wang2,
  10. Donald KT Li3,
  11. Jinling Tang1 and
  12. Sian Griffiths1
  1. 1The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China
  2. 2School of public health, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China
  3. 3Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, Hong Kong SAR, China
  1. Corresponding author: Xiaolin Wei, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China xiaolinwei{at}


Objective The recent population census showed China had officially become a graying society. In the meantime, China also faces a growing burden of non-communicable diseases. Since 2009, a series of policies have been implemented to enhance primary care at the community level. This study describes the elderly care services provided in the differently organized community health centers (CHCs).

Methods It covered 13 CHCs of six cities located within the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 59 health administrators, CHC managers, and CHC doctors regarding elderly care.

Results The study found that accessibility of healthcare for elders has been improved due to the development of health insurance schemes as well as preferential policy to encourage the CHC utilization by the elderly. All the CHCs provide health examinations and chronic disease management to the permanent elderly within their catchment district. However, some preventative care such as fall prevention, immunization and mental health management are not provided.

Conclusion Key barriers include low capacity of health service providers in the CHCs, and a lack of government investment in CHCs. Our report provides an empirical evidence for the health care reform in China.

  • Elderly care
  • Community health center
  • China

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

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