Progress and challenges of disaster health management in China : a scoping review

Zhong, Shuang, Clark, Michele J., Hou, Xiang-Yu, & FitzGerald, Gerard (2014) Progress and challenges of disaster health management in China : a scoping review. Global health action, 7(24986).

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Despite the importance of an effective health system response to various disasters, relevant research is still in its infancy, especially in middle- and low-income countries.


This paper provides an overview of the status of disaster health management in China, with its aim to promote the effectiveness of the health response for reducing disaster-related mortality and morbidity.


A scoping review method was used to address the recent progress of and challenges to disaster health management in China. Major health electronic databases were searched to identify English and Chinese literature that were relevant to the research aims.


The review found that since 2003 considerable progress has been achieved in the health disaster response system in China. However, there remain challenges that hinder effective health disaster responses, including low standards of disaster-resistant infrastructure safety, the lack of specific disaster plans, poor emergency coordination between hospitals, lack of portable diagnostic equipment and underdeveloped triage skills, surge capacity, and psychological interventions. Additional challenges include the fragmentation of the emergency health service system, a lack of specific legislation for emergencies, disparities in the distribution of funding, and inadequate cost-effective considerations for disaster rescue.


One solution identified to address these challenges appears to be through corresponding policy strategies at multiple levels (e.g. community, hospital, and healthcare system level).

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 76123
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: China, Disaster management, Disaster resilience, health system, health policy, CEDM
DOI: 10.3402/gha.v7.24986
ISSN: 1654-9880
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Emergency & Disaster Management
Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Shuang Zhong et al.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0
License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix,
transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.
Deposited On: 11 Sep 2014 22:09
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2015 11:31

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