Access to health and therapy services for families of children with disabilities in China

  • Fisher K
  • Shang X
  • 2

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Abstract

Purpose: China has more than five million children with disabilities. According to national statistics, most of them (63%) do not receive the health and therapy services they need, which threatens their lives, wellbeing and opportunities in adult life. Method: The article applies mixed methods (secondary data analysis and case study interviews) to analyse the efforts of families of children with disabilities to obtain health and therapy services to understand why most children do not receive the support they need. Results: The findings are that reasons include poor information, shortage of services and affordability. While these reasons are common across China, the local context, such as resources and social policy implementation, affect the degree to which families obtain the support they need. Conclusions: These circumstances will not change until local communities and government policies at all levels prioritise policy implementation to fulfil the rights of children with disabilities in China. ä Implications for Rehabilitation Most children with disabilities in China do not receive the health and therapy support they need. Access to support is hampered by poor information, shortage of services and affordability, which are accentuated by local resources and local policy implementation. Central and provincial government resource allocation and local government policy commitment to implementation are critical to children receiving the support they need in their local communities.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Children's rights
  • disability rights History
  • disabled persons

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Authors

  • Karen R Fisher

  • Xiaoyuan Shang

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