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Feb 2012

Changing Scenery of Eye Care in China: From Cataract to Diabetic Retinopathy

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology and Pathology, Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Peking University Eye Center, Beijing, China; and Directorate of Education, International Council of Ophthalmology.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(2):243-245. doi:10.1001/archopthalmol.2011.1663

Since the 1978 China Economic Reform initiated by Chinese leader Deng Xiao Ping, the average annual growth in China's gross domestic product (GDP) is 10.9% (2003-2008).1 This remarkable economic growth, with a degree of openness, has helped change eye care in China at a dramatic pace. However, to reform the eye care of a developing country with a population of 1336.3 million with diverse ethnic backgrounds spreading over 9 560 900 km2, a GDP per head of only $3270 (2011 US dollars), and health spending of 4.3% GDP (2011), a multichanneled approach is necessary.1 To grasp a proper perspective for this spectacular journey, 4 stages may be sketched.