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Bringing health care to the vulnerable - developing equitable and sustainable rural health insurance in China and Vietnam

Periodic Report Summary - RHINCAV (Bringing health care to the vulnerable - developing equitable and sustainable rural health insurance in China and Vietnam)

The RHINCAV project aimed to contribute towards poverty reduction and health improvement for people living in poor rural areas of developing countries. The overall project objective was to promote equity in health by making evidence available for health policy makers for an effective, sustainable and affordable rural health care financing system in China and Vietnam.

More specifically, the partial project targets were to:
1. carry out a situation analysis of perceived needs for rural health insurance and strengths and weaknesses of existing schemes;
2. develop and implement pilot rural health insurance schemes that are feasible and meet the perceived needs of their target population;
3. monitor and evaluate the effects of the new schemes;
4. support the design and implementation of a sustainable, equity-oriented rural health insurance schemes by effective dissemination of the research findings.

The project activities were structured into three phases, including:
1. development of the project framework and methodological approaches, as part of the first work package (WP1);
2. situation analysis and baseline surveys (WP2);
3. design of rural health insurance schemes for interventions (WP3);
4. intervention preparation and implementation in China (WP4) and Vietnam (WP5);
5. evaluation of the intervention impacts (WP6);
6. dissemination and exploitation of knowledge (WP7);
7. research capacity development (WP8);
8. project management (WP9).

By the time of its completion the project had achieved all its initial objectives. Its findings were disseminated to the academic and policy communities via a series of scientific papers. Moreover, a website was developed to facilitate information and knowledge exchange and an international dissemination workshop was organised in China. Knowledge was also exchanged within the specific study sites through a series of targeted activities, such as the distribution of newsletters and policy briefs and the transmission of radio and television programmes. Finally, research capacity was developed through training of Asian and European scientists, in spite of the significant funding problems that were encountered.