The Chinese Hukou System & its Impacts on Healthcare for Rural-to-Urban Migrants A Case Study of Tuberculosis Treatment Access in Urban Centres

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Title: The Chinese Hukou System & its Impacts on Healthcare for Rural-to-Urban Migrants A Case Study of Tuberculosis Treatment Access in Urban Centres
Authors: Samuels, Samantha
Date: 2017
Abstract: China’s current healthcare system is rooted in the Hukou system, which is the household registration system based on an individual’s place of birth. The Hukou system served as a form of migration management for the Chinese government since 1958, specifically by helping to separate the agricultural and industrial sectors to facilitate the objectives of the socialist planned economy. Furthermore, this period of economic liberalization also resulted in the reform of the Chinese Hukou system. This new era prompted waves of migration from the rural countryside to urban centres in the hopes of prosperity and a path out of poverty. However, the legacy of the Hukou system still maintained the spatial hierarchy between urban residents and rural migrants, resulting in inequality and marginalization for rural-to-urban migrants, specifically regarding social benefits, such as equal healthcare access. Today, while those with rural Hukou living in cities receive medical care, the quality, efficacy, and cost of obtaining it are unequal between rural migrants and urban residents. This paper will explore the Hukou system’s legacy and its implications on China’s healthcare system. In doing so, it will aim to answer how the Hukou system, despite reform, impacts rural-to-urban migrant healthcare access; how migrant healthcare access compares to accessibility for those with urban Hukou, and furthermore; how this spatial inequality created by the Hukou system infringes on migrants’ right to the city by creating barriers to obtaining equal, reliable, and affordable healthcare. The research employs the use of a literature review, manual literary coding techniques, the application of Critical Urban Theory, the selection of tuberculosis as a case study to examine the variance in healthcare accessibility between rural migrants and urban residents. This will demonstrate that migrants do not have equal healthcare access due to their Hukou status, and therefore an unequal right to the city.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/36091
CollectionDIM - Mémoires // IDGS - Research Papers
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