Monday, June 15, 2009

The Health System Reform Survey

One aspect of our lives that has gone under reported (in this case, thankfully I'm sure!) is all of those days I spend sitting at my desk in my office on Zhongguancun Lu. There is nothing really remarkable to document...Just the normal mixture of conducting research and preparing lectures.

One project, though, that deserves a little mention is what I am calling the health system reform survey.

Last fall, the Chinese central government published on the Internet its proposal for reforming the country's health care system. (A really important issue given the lack of health insurance among China's citizens and the byproduct of unusually high savings rates as families plan for expensive medical emergencies that must be paid out of their own pockets.) It also offered interested parties one month to offer comments on what had been proposed.

As part of a study of this online consultation process, I am preparing to conduct a survey of a number of the 27,000-plus individuals who submitted feedback through the comment process. This is all possible thanks to the generous support of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at George Washington University. The survey itself is going to be administered by Peking University's Research Center for Contemporary China, which is perhaps the leading survey research organization in the entire country.

Hopefully, the end product of this work will be a small contribution to understanding the evolving relationship between government and civil society in the making of public policy and how the Internet is playing a role in this evolution.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...



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