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Social Medicine and Health Service Management


   1.Profile of the major

The major of Management in Renmin University of China has a complete teaching and talent cultivation system from undergraduate, master, doctoral and post-doctoral research station; in 2004, the master’s degree program for Social Medicine and Health Service Management was established; after more than 10 years of development, a complete academic team having excellent working style, reasonable knowledge structure and multiple and complementary research directions is established. The research direction of teaching and scientific research is becoming distinct, with remarkable achievements and social benefits. The academic influence is growing and the status is rising steadily.

The discipline has accumulated a lot of academic research achievements and currently undertakes 20 scientific research projects, including five major and general projects of National Natural Science Foundation and National Social Science Foundation, two projects of Humanities and Social Science Foundation of Ministry of Education, fifteen projects entrusted by National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China and National Development and Reform Commission and five international cooperation projects, including the projects entrusted by WHO, CMB and Unicef; the scientific research funds of the discipline and specialty in recent three years reach RMB 6.353 million in total, including the project cost of the country and the State Council of RMB 1.023 million, National Natural Science Foundation of RMB 770,000, National Social Science Foundation of RMB 1.54 million, project cost of local government of RMB 960,000, scientific research cost of enterprises and public institutions of RMB 1.49 million and other project cost of RMB 570,000; the team members has published 157 papers and 9 monographs in the academic journals; obtained 11 awards at provincial and ministerial level; participated in the drafting and modification of “National Maternal and Child Health Strategy 2014-2020”, modification of National Population and Family Planning Law and the dynamic monitoring and investigation of national floating population.

The professional laboratory for the discipline covers a total area of 100 square meters and is equipped with 10 sets (pieces) of instruments and equipment which unit price is more than RMB 10,000. The total investment cost of instruments and equipment is RMB 1 million; the procurement cost for books is RMB 100,000 and other cost for improvement of the working conditions of the program is RMB 1.10 million; the total number of the domestic and foreign collected books is 32600 and there are 1849 kinds of journals in Chinese and foreign languages.

  2. Main research directions and contents

(1) Social factor and health research direction. The direction mainly focuses on the research of influence of various social factors on population health status, analysis of potential influence factor. The health education and health promotion can provide new theoretical and empirical evidence for effective reduction of the occurrence of chronic disease and improvement of life quality of patients. The direction involves several disciplines such as Demography, Public Health and Sociology and scientificity and multi-disciplinary integration of the research methods are highlighted. From the research perspective, the discipline focuses on the analysis and research of the potential factors that may affect the population health on different sides. The research of the major involves the relationship between social and economic factors and health, relationship between social class and health, influence of the nutritional status of the population on health, influence of cultural background on health, relationship between different social living environment and health, role of social relationship in the population health and the relationship between population development (population size, population structure and population quality), medical insurance system and population health. Meanwhile, as more attention is paid to the health of vulnerable groups, the research involves the health of population with the lowest allowance for living, health of floating population, women health and children health status.

(2) Medical reform policy and health management. The direction can meet social demand. Medical system is the core of national health system and the medical system problem is the key and difficult point of medical reform. China’s public hospital is the main part of the whole medical service, an important part of public institution, an important field of livelihood and social service and one of the important strategic resources. Since 2005, seeing a doctor has become a hot issue of social concern and medical reform policy has become an important livelihood issue. Medical treatment becomes one of the five important livelihood contents from the 16th CPC National Congress in which the livelihood problem is proposed to the 18th CPC National Congress in which the livelihood system with Chinese characteristics is constructed. A new round of medical reform since 2009 is a systematic reform of medical system. While after seven years, the urban public hospital pilots in 2015 are further expanded and the public hospitals at county level are fully opened, which indicates that the medical reform is long-term undertaking and there is an urgent need to make further research. Public hospital is an important part of reform of public institutions and belongs to the third department or non-profit organization as well as a key and difficult point of governance. The Medical Reform Research Center approved by the school is the first domestic research institution specializing in medical reform, which formally submitted to the suggestion about medical reform to the State Council in 2007 (No. 8 medical reform scheme), which is well recognized by relevant departments and the society and becomes the blueprint of 2009 medical reform scheme framework. The basic theories of the research include Public Administration, Public Economics and Public Policy and there are three research priorities: 1. Medical system reform which involves the problems such as the public hospital management system, status of legal person, organization and personnel; 2. Development and improvement of medical service system which involves the overall demand and supply of medical development, regional health planning, function positioning and configuration of public hospitals and synergetic development of non-public medical organizations; 3. Management problem which involves the hierarchical treatment and diagnosis, medical consortium, hospital remuneration and performance and establishment of external evaluation mechanism.  The discipline has contributed some important academic achievements and governance reports in above fields and forms certain research characteristics. The team and leaders in the field have large social influence in the medical reform policy research.

(3) Research of population health and health policy. It is a scientific research and teaching institution which mainly focuses on research of population health and China’s medical and health related policies and aims to provide intellectual support for the government to prepare major medical and health policies, so as to promote the health development of population. The research direction involves several disciplines such as Medicine, Management, Demography, Economics and Sociology and the research method focuses on inter-disciplinary fusion; attention is also paid to the localization research and international cutting-edge information as well as a series of investigations and researches that involve China’s major health problem such as population health demand, health service management innovation mechanism and public health service equalization under the background of population aging and population mobility. Based on the purpose of the program, several research priorities are formed during long-term research process, including research of health policy; population structure, distribution and medical care; population health and health service; population aging and health service management; utilization of floating population health service; maternity and child hygiene; evaluation of public health service project; health policy and project evaluation; research of medical insurance system. Research of population health problem from the perspective of policy supply is one of the most basic and important matters for promoting the long-term and healthy development of population in China. China is experiencing and will face the rapid population aging and large-scale floating population for a long time. Therefore, the research purpose of the discipline is to innovate the health policy, ensure population health and promote stable and sustainable social and economic development under the background of rapid change in population structure.

(4) Drug policy and management. The direction can meet the social demand. Drug policy involves several links namely drug production, distribution and use and is related to resident health, drug industrial development and R&D innovation; the accessibility of drug use of patients is related to the society, ethics and economy; the particularity of drug becomes an important field of reasonable division and cooperation of government and market and a challenge for governance and supervision. Drug is a special commodity and drug policy holds a special status in China’s medical system. The drug income of large-sized general hospital accounts for half of the total income and covering hospital expenses with medicine revenue is a medical reform difficulty to be settled. At present, the research of drug admission, pricing and expense control in China has lagged behind the demand of medical reform, which requires strengthening the research; there are two kinds of domestic schools researching the drug policy: (1) College of Pharmacy: the advantage of the college lies on the research of substantive contents such as R&D and production; (2) comprehensive university: the university researches the pharmacoeconomics and the advantage lies on the evaluation of single drug. Our university forms unique research characteristics by signing cooperative agreement with NICE and holding series of workshops: combine system construction, policy development and evaluation tool; lay emphasis on the research of macro policy, which gets the attention and recognition from relevant departments. One of the researchers independently undertakes relevant researches in UK and grasps the latest international research methods and tools; another researcher has obtained series of achievements in drug safety regulation and has received the recognition from relevant national departments. The basic theory of the field is public administration, public policy, heath economics, pharmacoeconomics and regulatory theory; the research focus includes: (1) the support of pharmacoeconomic evaluation for governmental decision making and policy formulation. No corresponding evaluation is made on current drug launch, pricing and preparation of reimbursement contents and the government has noticed the problem. Therefore, promoting the establishment and improvement of relevant policies is a long-term important research topic. (2) The management innovation in the health and medical field requires the support from the research achievements in this field, such as formulation of clinical pathway, combination of prevention and treatment, management of chronic disease and the determination of other important technical route and effectiveness evaluation. (3) Supervision of drug safety. The current prominent and increasingly severe drug use safety problem should also be researched based on the governance idea and theory and corresponding countermeasures should be proposed. The members in the research direction have made considerable achievements in these fields and can make further in-depth researches.

3. Educational objective

The overall requirements for the doctoral candidates: have a solid professional foundation in Public Policy and Public Administration, grasp standard social science research methods, combine the theory with practice, follow up the health development trends, take research of residents’ “health problem” as the core to put forward the theoretical basis and policy suggestion for realistic problems and grasp the leading information about social medicine and health service development; love the motherland and have good moral character; have prudent scientific attitude, active innovation ability and spirit of devotion; master the skill to independently carry out scientific research and professional work of higher level.

4. Faculty of the major

At present, there are 11 formal teachers recruited for this major, including 3 professors, 6 associate professors and 2 lecturers; in addition, there are 11 faculties having the doctoral degree and master’s degree respectively. The teaching team of the major pays attention to the combination of academic theory and scientific practice and has serious working attitude. The inter-disciplinary fusion of Public Administration, Social Medicine, Public Policy, Public Health, Health Economics, Demography and Management forms deep inside information for the research of the major. The teaching team works tirelessly to research the health field and forms the professional characteristic and advantages of “being at the cutting edge of the times, grasp the latest health policy information and medical reform trends” and cultivates excellent professional health policy talents for the government’s management department.

5. Foreign academic exchange

The academic unit of the major has visited lots of international well-known institutions of higher education, health departments and scientific research institutions to make exchanges and keeps successively exchanges and cooperation with international well-known universities such as Columbia University, John Hopkins University • University of Minnesota, the British Imperial College, University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases Research Institute, University of Paris X, France, Germany, Technical University of Berlin and Norwegian University of Science and Technology. In addition, the unit is also invited to participate in the important international conferences such as ISPOR and World Health Economics Conference. In August 2009, the unit entered into a formal cooperation agreement with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the most representative international authority in the field of drug and medical technology standard preparation. In 2011, the Center entered into a second five-year cooperation agreement with NICE.

6. Main professional curriculums

Main professional curriculums include Health Service Management, Medical Security, Health Economics, Health Policy and Project Evaluation and Social Medicine.  

7. Placement of graduates

The graduates majoring in Social Medicine and Health Service Management are competent for the teaching and scientific research institutions of higher education and relevant organizations or are qualified to take up the health policy research, decision making and management in the governmental departments, health organizations and other relevant departments and institutions. The policy-type and managerial talents are cultivated for enterprises.  

Introduction of supervisor:

Wang Hufeng