Person:
Hou, Xiaohui

Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank
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Fields of Specialization
health economics; social safety nets; poverty
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Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and Pacific Region, World Bank
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Last updated: January 31, 2023
Biography
Hou, Xiaohui is a Senior Economist in the World Bank.  Joined as a Young Professional, she has since worked in Human Development department and Poverty Reduction and Economic Management department across the East Europe and Central Asia region, the South Asia region, and most recently the East Asia and Pacific region.  She also spent a number of years in the World Bank Institute, the capacity building arm of the World Bank, focusing on face to face training and network development.  Her fields include health economics, social safety net, labor economics and impact evaluation. She has published a dozen of papers in both economics and medical peer reviewed journals. She also teaches as a visiting scholar. A Peking University graduate, she obtained her Ph.D. in the Health Services and Policy Analysis and a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master’s degree in Health Policy and Administration from the Washington State University. 
Citations 44 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Health and Noncommunicable Diseases: Bending the Noncommunicable Diseases Cost Curve in the Pacific
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-08-01) Hou, Xiaohui; Burton-Mckenzie, Ethan-John
    This is a background paper to the Pacific Possible report. Pacific Island countries suffer from a non-communicable diseases crises, with some of the world's highest rates of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. This report estimates the long-term economic impact if the crisis continues unchecked. Implementation of the NCD roadmap is essential to stemming the crisis.
  • Publication
    Understanding Health Workers' Job Preferences to Improve Rural Retention in Timor-Leste: Findings from a Discrete Choice Experiment
    (PLoS, 2016-11-15) Smitz, Marc-Francois; Witter, Sophie; Lemiere, Christophe; Eozenou, Patrick Hoang-Vu; Lievens, Tomas; Zaman, Rashid U.; Engelhardt, Kay; Hou, Xiaohui
    Timor-Leste built its health workforce up from extremely low levels after its war of independence, with the assistance of Cuban training, but faces challenges as the first cohorts of doctors will shortly be freed from their contracts with government. Retaining doctors, nurses and midwives in remote areas requires a good understanding of health worker preferences. The article reports on a discrete choice experiment (DCE) carried out amongst 441 health workers, including 173 doctors, 150 nurses and 118 midwives. Qualitative methods were conducted during the design phase. The attributes which emerged were wages, skills upgrading/specialisation, location, working conditions, transportation and housing.
  • Publication
    Turning Challenges into Opportunities: The Medium Term Health Expenditure Pressure Study in Timor-Leste
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016) Hou, Xiaohui
    Timor-Leste has achieved significant improvements in the health sector since becoming independent a little over a decade ago. Timor-Leste is undergoing an epidemiology transition as the non-communicable disease burden increases, while infectious disease prevalence remains high. The report aims to: (i) analyze trends in health sector public expenditures (budgets and realized expenditures); (ii) document trends in staffing and training, including their costs; (iii) understand the likely resource envelope available to the health sector over the next five years (from all sources); and (iv) provide options to adjust expenditures, to support key priorities, and improve the efficiency of existing expenditures to create space for key priorities. This report reviews the critical fiscal issues facing the health sector in the medium term, including the key areas demanding fiscal space, and the likely resource envelope from government and donors. The report analyzes past trends in health expenditures (by the government and donors), forecasts future resource availability, and examines implications for the Ministry of Health (MOH) to sustain delivery of quality health services. The report is organized as follows: chapter one gives introduction. Chapter two analyzes human resource development in health by discussing three scenarios for medium term health staff planning. Chapter three examines trends in government health spending by key expenditure areas and discusses the increasingly important role that government spending will play in the health sector. Chapter four analyzes the past trends in donor health financing in Timor-Leste. Chapter five concludes by reviewing four key areas (rising wage bill, pharmaceutical spending, overseas medical transfers, and declining donor spending) that are exerting pressure on health sector financing, and suggests policy recommendations based on the analysis detailed in this report.
  • Publication
    Exploring Factors Driving the Performance of Rural Health Care in Papua New Guinea
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-06) Cairns, Alan; Witter, Sophie; Hou, Xiaohui
    Examining performance patterns of sub-national units, such as provinces and districts, within a health system is important to understand their drivers and what might be needed to improve outputs. Such literature is relatively rare in low and middle-income countries. It is particularly relevant for Papua New Guinea, which is underperforming in relation to its neighbours and targets for core health indicators and faces particular geographical challenges, with a dispersed and diverse population. In this analysis, we undertake simple correlation analysis between remoteness of populations, expenditure on frontline services and core outputs by provinces and regions, such as antenatal care, outpatient visits, outreach clinics, referrals of patients and facility supervision in 2012. In the context of the challenging geography of Papua New Guinea, these are expected to be important factors. Some expected patterns were found – for example, between remoteness and higher service costs, as well as between remoteness and higher outreach services. Outpatient visits, however, increased with remoteness, which was surprising. Our correlation analyses suggest a virtuous circle operating in some areas (even in the most geographically challenged) between outreach clinics, immunisation coverage, supervision, frontline spending and overall health system performance, which merits further investigation into the factors supporting these and how they can be reinforced elsewhere. Whilst expenditure did not correlate closely with provincial performance, it was evident that the provinces with higher performance across the selection of metrics typically were also the higher spenders on frontline services. There was some correlation of higher performance with density of public provision. More fine-grained assessment, including at the district level, will be needed to understand the low levels of outreach clinics, transfers and supervision, all of which are critical for quality health care in these kinds of contexts. The analysis illustrates what can be learned from combining routine data sources, as well as the limits and the need to complement such analysis with more detailed local qualitative investigations. It also reinforces the message that local leadership, supportive supervision and resources directed to frontline services can be effective in raising health system performance, even in challenging settings.