Strengthening Equity in China through Policy Evaluations and Capacity Building
Under "Healthy China 2020," universal basic healthcare coverage will be provided to all Chinese by 2020. To realize the reform's goals, the Chinese government's 2011-2015 five-year plan builds on previous efforts. One of the key objectives is to improve equity in health care. China's 18th Communist Party Congress has made this a priority, with the aim of establishing institutions in each province to ensure equity. This research project will shed light on the current level of health equity within the Chinese health system. It will also assess recently implemented interventions to reduce health inequities in China. The China National Health Development Research Center will develop and lead the project in collaboration with St. Michael's Hospital. The newly established China Network on Health Equity (CNHE) will also provide support to strengthen China's capacity for health systems and policy analysis. The research team will assess the performance of selected health policies by conducting case studies. Their goal will be to improve implementation approaches for better health equity outcomes in areas including: - integrated management for health services; - health insurance through the three major insurance schemes; - maternal health; and, - payment reform in rural China. This research builds on a first phase of an earlier project that raised the awareness and built capacity for health policy evaluation in China. This second phase will analyze health policies and programs to understand what works. Researchers will consider the health system as a whole and use a multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach. The case studies, combined with training, will help build research capacity at all levels of decision-making. The project is expected to result in: - health policy analysis guidelines for China; - a knowledgeable and effective China Network on Health Equity; and, - enhanced culture of evaluative thinking and evidence-based decision-making at all levels, from provincial to national.