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BMC Health Serv Res. 2015 Nov 10;15:504. doi: 10.1186/s12913-015-1162-z.

What are the similarities and differences in structure and function among the three main models of community health centers in China: a systematic review.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China. htli1223@szu.edu.cn.
2
School of Health Policy and Management, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China. dqian@njmu.edu.cn.
3
School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. siangriffiths@cuhk.edu.hk.
4
School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. rychung@cuhk.edu.hk.
5
School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. xiaolinwei@cuhk.edu.hk.
6
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. xiaolinwei@cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There are three major models of primary care providers (Community Health Centers, CHCs) in China, i.e., government managed, hospital managed and privately owned CHCs. We performed a systematic review of structures and health care delivery patterns of the three models of CHCs.

METHODS:

Studies from relevant English and Chinese databases for the period of 1997-2011 were searched. Two independent researchers extracted data from the eligible studies using a standardized abstraction form. Methodological quality of included articles was assessed with the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT).

RESULTS:

A total of 13 studies was included in the final analysis. Compared with the other two models, private CHCs had a smaller health workforce and lower share of government funding in their total revenues. Private CHCs also had fewer training opportunities, were less recognized by health insurance schemes and tended to provide primary care services of poor quality. Hospital managed CHCs attracted patients through their higher quality of clinical care, while private CHCs attracted users through convenience and medical equipment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study suggested that government and hospital managed CHCs were more competent and provided better primary care than privately owned CHCs. Further studies are warranted to comprehensively compare performances among different models of CHCs.

PMID:
26554813
PMCID:
PMC4640164
DOI:
10.1186/s12913-015-1162-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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