Cities and Health: A Response to the Recent Commentaries

Document Type: Correspondence

Authors

1 The Hasting Center, Garrison, NY, USA

2 Wagner School of Public Service, New York University, New York City, NY, USA

3 The International Longevity Center, Columbia University, New York City, NY, USA

Keywords

Main Subjects


We are grateful to our many colleagues who took the time to respond to our analysis of Shanghai’s declining “avoidable mortality.”1 The range of their perspectives across 5 recent commentaries reassures us that the topic is worthy of sustained study. Indeed, the presumption behind our comparative research on healthcare in world cities 2 is that the city is a strategic unit of analysis for understanding the health sector and that world cities share a host of important characteristics. Contrary to Cheng’s 3 comment that we compared“disparate cities whose only common characteristic is that they are of mega-size,” we have relied on a “most similar systems” approach to comparative analysis.4 World cities are characterized by high population size and density, similar commuting patterns between their outer rings and urban cores, and similar functions in the realms of international finance, culture, media, and provision of tertiary and quaternary medical care. Likewise, they exhibit flagrant socioeconomic inequalities, share many of the same strengths and weaknesses, but exist within nations with strikingly different health policies. Thus, comparisons among these cities, as well as within them (across neighborhoods), can shed light on the implications of national health policy for access to care, as well as on the importance of urban health policies for grappling with local health challenges... (Read more...)

 

  1. Gusmano MK, Rodwin VG, Wang C, Weisz  D, Lou  L,  Hua F.  Shanghai Rising: health improvements as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(1):7-12. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.07
  2. Rodwin VG, Weisz D. Health Care in World Cities: New York, London, Paris, Tokyo. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010.
  3. Cheng TM. Shanghai’s track record in population health status: what can explain it? Comment on “Shanghai rising: health improvements as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000”. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4: forthcoming. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.117
  4. Marmor T, Freeman R, Okma K. Comparative Perspectives and Policy Learning in the World of Health Care. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice. 2005;7(4):331-348. doi:10.1080/13876980500319253
  5. Ren Y. Health improvements for a healthy shanghai rising: Comment on “Shanghai Rising: health improvements as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000”. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(3):189-190. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.33.
  6. Yip  P, Chen M. What really matters: living longer or living healthier? Comment on “Shanghai rising: health improvements as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000”. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(7):487-489. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.87
  7. Rodwin VG. Gusmano MK.   The world cities project: rationale and design for comparison of megacity health systems. J Urban Health 2002:79(4):445-463.
  8. World City Project Publications. http://wagner.nyu.edu/faculty/vrodwinWCP
  9. Yan F, Zhang J. Untimely applause was a distraction: Comment on “Shanghai rising: health improvements as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000”. Int J Health Policy Manag 2015;4(6):403-405. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.64
  10. Fabre  G. The Chinese healthcare challenge: Comment on "Shanghai rising: avoidable mortality as measured by avoidable mortality since 2000". Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(3):195-197. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.36
  11. Heijink R.  Koolman  X.  Westert G.  Spending more money, saving more lives? The relationship between avoidable mortality and healthcare spending in 14 countries. Eur J Health Econ. 2013;14:527-538.
  12. Allin S,  Grignon  M. Examining the role of amenable mortality as an indicator of health system effectiveness. Healthcare Policy 2014;9(3)12-18. doi:10.12927/hcpol.2014.23733
  13. Gusmano MK, Rodwin VG, Weisz D. Using comparative analysis to address health system caricatures. Int J Health Serv. 2014;44(3)553-565. doi:10.2190/hs.44.3.g
  14. Cheng TM. Explaining Shanghai’s health care reforms, successes and challenges. Health Aff (Millwood). 2013;32(12):2199-2204. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1136