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The project progress of “Training for Research on the Role of Township Hospitals in the Healthcare System (RoTHiS)”(1)
The township hospital is the basis of Chinese healthcare system, which is also the grass root to practice the basic public health and medical service in rural population. The rapid development of urbanization and the growth of aging population have made the supply of medical service to rural population a challenge for township hospitals. Township hospitals, especially those in underdeveloped western areas, are encountering the serious shortage of financial and human resources. And these difficulties have hindered township hospitals from playing a role perfectly in the implement of new health care reform policies, such astwo-way referral, the reinforce of the preventive health care, the whole coverage of basic public health service,the decline of medical expenses and so on. As a consequence, the training and research on the role of township hospitals in the complex and changeable rural environment is an urgent task.

With the support of China Medical Board (CMB Grant 16-252),West China Research Centre for Rural Health Development (WCRC•RHD) in Sichuan University has begun a three-year project (2017-2019) called “Training for Research on the Role of Township Hospitals in the Healthcare System (RoTHiS)”.

In order to support and encourage the township hospitals to play a better role and further improve the health care service, the project aims to start from health system research,combine various methods to figure out the situation and problems of township hospitals in China, thus to offer scientific evidence for solutions. At the meanwhile, the project would train young research staffs and students who major in preventive medicine, and prompt them to understand their professional role and improve their research abilities.

The project has three related working packages.

The project progress of “Training for Research on the Role of Township Hospitals in the Healthcare System (RoTHiS)”
WP1 The field of research work: case interview, data collection, action research, student trainee, long-term cooperation
WP2 The research and training: several research sub-projects, case of qualitative research in township hospitals, research design of systematic training, qualitative research and draft of research paper.
WP3 The experts: giving methods and suggestions, guiding and training staffs


WP1: aims to select three sampling township hospitals in each selectedtown in flat dam areas, hill areas and mountain areas, and conduct following up study and in-depth case study;
WP2:to study the current situation and conduct case study of township hospitals, and pay attention to clarify the relationship of input and output of health care policy and system, then combine the experts’ training and research work by usingvarious methods.
WP3: implement of the guidance and comment from project steering committee (PSC), and conduct evaluation and cooperative outcomes.

At present, RoTHiS has the following progress,

Determination of the sampling township hospitals

According to the terrain, geomorphology and the distance from the centre of district/town, we have determined 9 sampling township hospitals in 3 towns, which are Xihe township hospital,Baihe township hospital and Huangtu township hospital in Longquanyi district of Chengdu plain; Gufo township hospital, Zhaohua township hospital and Huzhu township hospital in Fushun Town of hill areas; Xinshiba township hospital, Sijue township hospital and Qianjin township hospital in Yi mountain area respectively.

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