Does migration affect medical service usage? Evidence from China

Stream: Chinese social policy: urbanisation
Date: Tuesday, 10 September 2019
Time: 3.45 pm – 5.05 pm


Medical services are an important part of social service planning. For a financial and service planner, how residents use services is the key to resource allocation. In a country or city with fewer migrants, medical service planning can be based on certain resident profiles, such as population size, density and age groups. Questions arise to challenge such practices when there are large numbers of migrants. For example, migrant may come from different age cohorts, they may have different health profiles, different health funding coverage, diverse mobility strategies, or having different language proficiency etc. These features might affect the way migrants use services which can become “disruptive” to the conventional service planning practices. Chinese cities are experiencing rapid urbanization and many cities host large numbers of domestic migration from rural areas or from other cities. They do not only come as labour force, but also bring their children along (National Health and Family Planning Commission of China, 2016). Yet, few studies have examined the usage of medical services and whether the migrant population are indeed behaving differently. This paper used the data collected from national baseline survey of China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) in 2011 to examine medical service usage of migrants of 45 or older. This study will contribute to existing studies and policy practices in China. It also contributes to the international debates on social service planning.


Sisi Yang (Presenter), CEPAR, UNSW
Sisi Yang received a PhD in Demography at Macquarie University in April 2018. In July 2018 She join the Australia-China Population Ageing Research Hub in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Aging Research (CEPAR) at UNSW. Her research interests focus on migration, aging and wellbeing, including formal and informal settlement of migrants, migrant workers and employment, health and older adults'' subjective well-being and migrants' social identity and integration. Her studies has been published in academic journals such as Urban Studies and recently contributed to a book chapter in Annual Report of Chinese International Migration 2018.

Bingqin Li, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW
Bingqin Li's research is on social policy and governance. Her current projects include governance of age-friendly community, local government motivation in delivering complex social programs, social inclusion and integration, urban governance, and social spending. She has particular expertise on China, and works also on other countries in Asia, and on comparative studies of policies between Asia and the West. Her research has been published in academic journals such as Urban Studies, Environment & Urbanisation, Social Policy & Administration and Public Administration and Development. Bingqin has also consulted international organisations, such as the World Bank etc.