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Strengthening primary and integrated care in China for patients with multimorbidity (GCRF)

Project Description

There is a global urge to improve health and wellbeing and reduce inequalities via strengthened primary health care integrated with the rest of the system. However, this has been true for over 40 years now, marked by the Alma-Ata Declaration in 1978. It is widely reported that, globally, there has been little practical action to date. Now evidence is needed on how best to practically deliver this aim, especially for patients with non-communicable diseases and multimorbidity who have the greatest need.

China offers the perfect opportunity to examine this global research priority. In China, primary care is supplied to a fifth of the world’s population. As an upper-middle income country, it is at the most susceptible stage of epidemiological transition: 85% of total deaths are now from NCDs and there are high levels of known lifestyle risk factors (e.g. smoking) and an ageing population. But, as one of the World’s leading growth economies, there is money being invested in developing new models of care and there are new large datasets that allow rigorous research into effectiveness. As China covers a large geographical area, each county (of which there are approximately 3000) differs in its arrangements regarding health service delivery (e.g. primary care gatekeeping county pilots). There are also regional differences in the implementation of nationwide policies (e.g. regional variation in services offered under compulsory ‘essential public health services’ from 2010). Despite differences in the design of primary and integrated care services across China, it is currently unclear what the effects of each varying model has on health care use, health outcomes and equity/inequalities.

The overall aim is to influence policy to strengthen primary and integrated care in China, specifically, a mixed methods PhD to:
-Identify and describe new models of primary and integrated care being trialled across China
-Evaluate impact of new models of care compared to ‘usual care’
-Identify effects on specific groups, e.g. clusters of multimorbid patients, inequalities across deprivation profiles
-Disseminate policy implications to relevant stakeholders

The student will gain mixed methods training and experience in policy evaluation methods and global and local policy knowledge from spending time and supervision across the University of Manchester, Centre for Primary Care & Health Services Research, and Peking University, China Centre for Health Development Studies.

Person specification:
-Excellent post graduate degree in economics, public health or similar discipline with a substantial quantitative element
-Basic knowledge of Chinese language

Entry Requirements
Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) an Upper Second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area / subject.

If you are interested in this project, please make direct contact with the Principal Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible. You MUST also submit an online application form - choose PhD Primary Care and Health Services Research. Full details on how to apply can be found on the GCRF website

Funding Notes

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a 4 year programme with integrated teaching certificate. There are up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply to one project which will start in either April or September 2020.

Funding for the programme will include tuition fees, an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,000 for 2019/20), a research training grant, training allowance and travel allowance.

As an equal opportunities institution we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

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