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Task shifting of HIV/AIDS case management to Community Health Service Centers in urban China: a qualitative policy analysis

, : Task shifting of HIV/AIDS case management to Community Health Service Centers in urban China: a qualitative policy analysis. Bmc Health Services Research 15(): 253-253

The growing number of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in China points to an increased need for case management services of HIV/AIDS. This study sought to explore the challenges and enablers in shifting the HIV/AIDS case management services from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCs) to Community Health Service Centers (CHSCs) in urban China. A qualitative method based on the Health Policy Triangle (HPT) framework was employed to gain in-depth insights into four elements of the task shifting strategy. This included a review on published literature and health policy documents, 15 focus group discussions (FGDs) and 30 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with four types of key actors from three cities in China. A total of 78 studies and 17 policy files at the national, municipal and local levels were obtained and reviewed comprehensively. Three semi-structured interview guides were used to explore key actors' views on shifting the HIV/AIDS case management services to CHSCs. It is necessary and feasible for CHSCs to engage in case management services for PLWHA in local communities. The increasing number of PLWHA and shortage of qualified health professionals in CDCs made shifting case management services downwards to CHSCs an urgent agenda. CHSCs' wide distribution, technical capacity, accessibility and current practice enabled them to carry out case management services for PLWHA. However our findings indicated several challenges in this task shifting process. Those challenges included lack of specific policy and stable financial support for CHSCs, inadequate manpower, relatively low capacity for health service delivery, lack of coordination among sectors, PLWHA's fear for discrimination and privacy disclosure in local communities, which may compromise the effectiveness and sustainability of those services. Shifting the HIV/AIDS case management services from CDCs to CHSCs is a new approach to cope with the rising number of PLWHA in China, but it should be implemented alongside with other efforts and resources such as increasing public funding, planned team building, professional training, coordination with other sectors and education on privacy protection as well as non-discrimination to make this approach more effective and sustainable. Policy makers need to ensure both political feasibility and resources accessibility to facilitate this shifting process.


PMID: 26135395

DOI: 10.1186/s12913-015-0924-y

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