Professor Winnie Yip Discusses Pathways to UHC at 2021 World Health Forum

World Health Forum Event Poster

At the opening plenary session of the inaugural World Health Forum hosted by Tsinghua University, Dr. Winnie Yip, Faculty Director of the Harvard China Health Partnership, was invited to share her long-running research on pathways to universal health coverage and lessons for China’s health system. Opening remarks at the Forum, themed “Building a Resilient Public Health System,” were delivered by Vice Premier SUN Chunlan, and approximately 400,000 attendees joined the forum online.

China’s health system continues to be heavily reliant on large, tertiary hospitals for the provision of care. In discussing ways to improve the primary care system, Dr. Yip emphasized that foundational role of trust in facilitating positive interactions between care providers and the communities they serve. International experience suggests that effective primary care teams typically recruit from local communities, which simultaneously gives care providers a sense of belonging to the local community and provides community members with a connection to their care provider. Female workforce participation is also critical for the development of China’s primary care system, and recruitment efforts should seek to engage this demographic while also ensuring sector conditions enable their ongoing involvement. Finally, Dr. Yip highlighted the urgent need to train more nurses, community health workers, and physicians willing to work in local communities.