University Grants Committee’s Official Coverage of Prof. Alex Jingwei He’s Research Impact on Policy Making
In September 2023, the University Grants Committee (UGC) launched a series of publicity in Sing Tao Daily on how researchers in local public universities generate real-world impact through academic research. This series showcases a selection of research impact cases rated 4-star (internationally outstanding) in Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2020. Professor Alex Jingwei He, Associate Professor of PPOL and Acting Director of the Institute for Public Policy, HKUST was featured in this official coverage, representing the discipline of public policy and administration.
Below is an English summary of the newspaper feature story.
Prof He’s research on the healthcare system has contributed to the knowledge informing large-scale reforms in mainland China and Hong Kong and public debate, has become an important reference to the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and the Chinese government’s reform blueprint for China’s health system, a large extent of it has been implemented in the State Council’s Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). Prof. He’s engagement with policymakers and media in mainland China and Hong Kong has reached at least one billion audiences.
In his work, Prof. He addresses the challenges of spiralling costs to meet increasing demand from a more prosperous aging population and the surge in non-communicable diseases faced by mainland China’s health system, and the overstretched public service faced by the super-aging Hong Kong society. Prof. He’s impact case study on “Improved Understanding and Awareness of Reforms Needed in Healthcare Delivery in China and Health Financing in Hong Kong” has been rated 4-star (internationally outstanding and considerably impactful) in the 2020 UGC’s Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) UoA25- Political Science (incl. public policy & administration & international relations).
Phenomena of the mainland China’s Medical System and their impact on its Sustainability
Researchers and policymakers have largely overlooked the doctor-patient relationships and their significance in doctors’ behavior. The unique contribution of Prof. He’s investigations is on the tense doctor-patient relationship in mainland China resulting from the lack of mutual trust and even conflicts between the two parties and their significance in doctors’ behavior in delivering healthcare under the implementation of universal health insurance coverage in mainland China. Such tense relationships have been identified in Prof. He’s investigations as adversely affecting the sustainability and capacity of the mainland's medical system, as there is a tendency for doctors to resort to “defensive medicine” involving over-prescription of drugs and diagnostic tests to avoid potential liability and future medical disputes.
A Bridge Between Healthcare Professionals and Policymakers
Prof. He has been advocating for doctors and frontline medical staff and persuading policymakers in mainland China to fight for better treatment and benefits for the former by visiting and delivering speeches in different government departments and public hospitals. In Hong Kong, Prof. He has been invited by the former Food and Health Bureau and the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers to share his research results, providing new perspectives for the insurance industry and relevant stakeholders, and enabling the public to understand medical insurance options better. Prof. He has the vision to apply his research results to make policy initiatives for society, to raise public awareness and understanding of medical insurance and health policies, and to become an important bridge between the relevant stakeholders.
UGC RAE 2020 Impact Case UoA25- Political Science https://bit.ly/3Zwwntv
Sing Tao Daily: https://bit.ly/3rpyxP8