Past Research Projects

Building on our long and successful track record of collaboration with Chinese peer institutions to advance research, the Harvard China Health Partnership paves the way to evidence-based policy solutions that affect the lives of millions of Chinese citizens. Our project sites are featured in Chinese media as reform examples.

Affordability and accessibility of health care services have been key social challenges in China. Since the beginning of 2009, the Chinese government began to implement an ambitious reform agenda that aimed to radically improve its health care system. Although much progress has been made in the past eight years, China’s health care system still faces a number of deeply rooted problems. The Harvard China Health Partnership aims to assess and improve this problem as China’s health care reform evolves.

10 years of health-care reform in China: progress and gaps in Universal Health Coverage

In the past 10 years, China has made substantial progress in improving equal access to care and enhancing financial protection, especially for people of a lower socioeconomic status. However, gaps remain in quality of care, control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), efficiency in delivery, control of health expenditures, and public satisfaction. To meet the needs of China’s ageing population that is facing an increased NCD burden, we recommend leveraging strategic purchasing, information technology, and local pilots to build a primary health-care (PHC)-based integrated delivery system by aligning the incentives and governance of hospitals and PHC systems, improving the quality of PHC providers, and educating the public on the value of prevention and health maintenance.

Analysis of Provider Payment Reform on Advancing China’s Health (APPROACH)

In collaboration with the Government of Guizhou (one of the poorest provinces with a large rural population in western China), we launched a social experiment in 28 counties of Guizhou from 2016 to 2018. Another 28 counties served as control counties, which allowed us to evaluate data from hospital information systems, New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) claims records, and two hospital surveys.

Re-aligning Incentives for Affordable and Effective Healthcare (Ningxia I)

In 2009, China announced an ambitious health reform aiming to achieve affordable and equitable access to quality basic health care for all by 2020. Between 2009 and 2012, government spending on health care doubled and has since continued to increase. However, money does not necessarily equate to quality service. The fundamental question faced by the government is: how to transform financial resources into effective health care?

Medical Professionalism

The project aimed to provide guidance for physicians in China on professionalism and ethics considerations in their daily practice.

Respiratory Disease in Chinese Textile Workers

The Shanghai Textile Workers Study was started in the early 1980s and has resulted in improved working conditions for millions of workers in China.


Many of our past Visiting Scholars from peer institutions in China contributed to these research collaborations:

  • Analysis of Provider Payment Reform on Advancing China’s Health (APPROACH), Weiyan Jian, 2018
  • Analysis of Provider Payment Reform on Advancing China’s Health (APPROACH), Min Hu, 2017-2018
  • Basic Medical Insurance System (BMI) Reform, Limei Jing, 2017-2018
  • Telehealth to Improve Access to Health Care, Ting Meggie Yu, 2017-2018
  • The quality of life for elderly with different living arrangements, Zhiying Zhou, 2017-2018
  • Systematic-Level Reform at Public Hospitals, Hongqiao Fu, 2016-2017