In the wake of China''s market reforms, many people''s opportunity to obtain healthcare services deteriorated. Problems of the healthcare sector have become a major source of social discontent. In response, China''s government recently embarked on ambitious health system reforms. This book describes how the healthcare system and the government''s efforts to improve it are experienced at the grassroots. Based on a case study of an earthquake affected village in Sichuan province, it asks how and why problems of inequitable and inefficient distribution of medical services arise. It argues that in order for China''s healthcare reforms to succeed, the government must be able and willing to institutionalize protection of citizens'' interests in interaction with those who distribute services.