Since the new round of health care reform in 2009, the vertical integration of hospitals and primary health institutions has become widely implemented in China as an efficient method for improving quality of primary care. This study aimed to answer the following questions: (a) What is the perceived quality of township health centres (THCs) under integration? (B) What differences could be observed among the three typical integration models, namely, private hospital-THC integration, public hospital-THC integration, and loose collaboration? Two rounds of cross-sectional surveys were conducted from November 2016 to June 2018. The Chinese version of the Primary Care Assessment Tool was used to evaluate perceived quality of sample THCs, and 1118 adult patients were interviewed in total. Multiple linear regressions were employed to compare the quality scores between two survey rounds and among different integration models after controlling for potential confounders. The results revealed that the quality of care significantly improved under private hospital-THC integration as observed by comparing two survey rounds, while no change or slight changes were observed in the other two models. The difference observed among the three models was that the perceived quality of THCs integrated with private hospitals was worse than that of THCs integrated with public hospitals and THCs under loose collaboration, while no significant difference was observed between public hospital-THC integration and loose collaboration. Increased attention should be given to highlighting the tight integration between hospitals and THCs and the different roles played by private and public hospitals in the current reform.

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International Journal of Health Planning and Management
Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

Yuan, S. (Shasha), Wang, F. (Fang), Zhao, Y. (Yan), & Liu, Y. (2019). Assessing perceived quality of primary care under hospital-township health centre integration: A cross-sectional study in China. International Journal of Health Planning and Management. doi:10.1002/hpm.2965