Posted on 30 September 2019
Organised by James Lomas and Jessica Ochalek in coordination with the Imperial College Global Health and Development Team and the China National Health Development Research Centre (CNHDRC), the workshop provided an opportunity for CHE researchers to meet face-to-face with high-level Chinese policymakers to discuss some of the key health policy issues facing China today.
A research institution based in Beijing and established in 1991 under the leadership of the Chinese Ministry of Health (MoH), CNHDRC operates as a national think tank providing technical consultancy to health policy makers across the country. In 2008, China introduced a dedicated health technology assessment (HTA) body based at the center. This was part of a sweep of health care reforms over the last decade including an expansion of the country’s three main social health insurance schemes to cover more than 95% of the population from less than half in 2003.
The workshop was attended by a delegation of 11 senior Chinese officials from the Ministry of Finance, the National Health Commission and province-level health commissions; 2 government researchers; 2 doctors; and 10 academic and non-academic researchers including Professor Kun Zhao, Division Director of HTA at CNHDRC.
Mark Sculpher chaired the afternoon, presiding over an animated Q&A following presentations on timely issues for health care in China. Karl Claxton discussed the use of economic evaluation for decision making and the importance of a Reference Case, with emphasis on “thorny issues”, such as discount rates. Adriana Castelli presented her work with others in CHE on the development and application of methods to measure health system productivity and performance in the UK NHS. Jessica Ochalek spoke about cost-effectiveness thresholds and health opportunity costs.
Attendees raised important points for the application of these topics to the Chinese context, including around measuring productivity versus efficiency and squaring international guidance around cost-effectiveness thresholds with empirical evidence. Potential areas for future research and collaboration, such as around the estimation of health opportunity costs using within country data, were highlighted.
The workshop formed part of a larger study tour undertaken by the delegation, the 2019 China National Health Development Research Centre (CNHDRC) Health Policy Research and Evaluation Training Programme. The programme is run by the Imperial College Global Health and Development Team who collaborate with CNHDRC to support health technology assessment (HTA) capacity building for China as part of a commitment from the Joint Statement of the 5th Meeting of the UK-China High-Level People to People Dialogue.
CHE would like to thank everyone who attended the event, with a special thanks to Francis Ruiz and the wider Imperial College Global Health and Development Team and Professor Kun Zhao and the China National Health Development Research Centre (CNHDRC).