China-India Comparative Health Unit

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China-India Comparative Health Unit

Comparative studies of health systems are essential to the body of work on health and health care across the world. China and India have had very different political, economic and social histories that led to the emergence of divergent health systems and yet, in the present times the health sector reforms undertaken by both countries have been similar in nature. The Chinese health system has seen dramatic transformations due to the changing political and economic context while transformations in Indian health system have been more gradual. The health sector reforms in the present times have been informed by ideas of new public health management and commercialisation. For-profit interests are increasingly visible and there have been implications of these trends for comprehensiveness of services and equity. Hence, the comparisons that can be drawn from the two health systems of India and China would be of considerable interest.

The objective of the health resource centre is to build a repository on relevant issues on health systems in China; build a network with scholars, institutes and centres conducting research on health system in China; and conduct research on selected domains from a comparative perspective with India. These domains broadly include the process of health sector reforms; the characteristics of the public, for-profit and non-profit institutions in health; inequities in access, utilisation and quality of health services; the demographic and epidemiological transitions, disease control programmes and so on.


Integration of Health Services for Older Persons in the Urban Context: An Analysis of Practices in Select Countries in the Asia-Pacific region’ I WHO Project | March 2020 onwards

The Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS) has been selected as one of the lead members of a consortium by the Asia Pacific Observatory (APO) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) for a period of 3 to 5 years for developing and conducting research on health systems in the region. These will have direct policy relevance and implications for health system strengthening. Other consortium members are - Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi; Shanghai Health Development Research Centre, Shanghai; School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai; and Department of Asian and Policy Studies, Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. The WHO has drawn annual contracts with all consortium partners and the grants will be received under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for the Indian team [comprising lead researchers - Dr. Madhurima Nundy, Assistant Director & Fellow, ICS; Prof. Rama V. Baru, JNU & Honorary Fellow, ICS; and Prof. Ramila Bisht, JNU & Adjunct Fellow, ICS]. The WHO has accorded approval to the grants for the project on ‘Integration of Health Services for Older Persons in the Urban Context: An Analysis of Practices in Select Countries in the Asia-Pacific region’ for the year 2020-21.


Role of Medical Missionaries in China and India

Palliative Care in China and India


Student Mobility for Higher Education: The Case of Indian Students Studying Medicine in China | NIEPA Project | August 2018 – July 2019 | 

The mobility of Indian students travelling abroad for higher education, both undergraduate and post graduate, has been on the rise since the early 2000s. In the last few years it has been observed that China is one of the top non-English speaking countries where Indians are going for higher education, mostly for undergraduate medical courses. This adds a new dimension to the people to people contact but this phenomenon is fraught by challenges. The objective of the study is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the pull and push factors that determine the flow of Indian students as well as the challenges and barriers they confront once they return to India. It will study the motivations, experiences and expectations of the medical students with respect to the curriculum, pedagogy, training and quality of medical education in China. 

Commercialisation of Elderly Care in India and China: The Case of Delhi and Shanghai | ICSSR Project | May 2017 – April 2019 |

The review of literature on elderly care in China and India show the inadequacy in addressing the needs of an aging population in the context of increased economic prosperity and changing social fabric in terms of the family and community. What the literature does not seem to engage with is the highly differentiated needs of the elderly across classes and their ability to afford and articulate the need for services. In both these countries, the government is not providing the required services and therefore there is a role for profit and non-profit organisations in service provisioning ranging from medical care, personalised services and institutional care. This has serious consequences for the elderly and the family as they shift roles and responsibilities between and across these various actors for a range of supportive care that is required for ageing.

The study will assess the magnitude, socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the elderly in Delhi and Shanghai; study the plurality and characteristics of the services provided by the government, for-profit and non-profit providers;  To study the patterns of investment by national and foreign in this sector; To study the challenges of commercialisation of elderly care and its sustainability

India-China Comparative Health Resource Centre at the Institute of Chinese Studies | ICSSR Project | March 2014 – April 2016 |  

The main objective of the project was to assist in building a repository of all relevant issues on health and health care in China; to build networks and collaborations with scholars in universities and other institutes researching on health and health care systems in China; to conduct research on some selected domains on health systems in China; to publish occasional papers and to organize meetings/seminars.

Transnational Actors and Commercialisation of Health Care: A China-India Comparative | ICSSR project | April 2013-March 2015 

The study sought to identify the global actors and agencies and their role in health care. It looked at their contribution and investments and their influence on content of policy. These actors have contributed to changing the landscape of health services in India and China. 


Health Service Systems in Transition: India and China
10-11 March 2015
Lecture Hall 2, Convention Centre, JNU, New Delhi.

Dialogue on Strategies for Tuberculosis Control in China and India
March 2016
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare: India and China
Shanghai Health Development Research Centre, Shanghai
18 May 2016

Panel on Public Hospital Reforms in India, China and Southeast Asia: Issues for Governance and Accountability
International Conference on Public Policy
27 June – 3 July 2017
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS, Singapore

Arrangements for Elderly Care in China and India
12-13 March 2019
India International Centre, New Delhi


Health Service Systems in Transition: Challenges in India and China, ICS Monograph, July 2017: This edited volume is a collection of papers presented at the International Seminar on "Challenges to Health Service Systems in Transition: China and India". The authors are public health scholars from various institutes and universities from Beijing, Delhi and Shanghai. 

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The Illusion of Universal Health Care: Medical Insurance as the Panacea, ICS Analysis, Issue No. 74, Feb 2019.

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Health Service Systems in Transition: India and China

10-11 March 2015

Lecture Hall 2, Convention Centre, JNU, New Delhi.

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