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High-level Chinese healthcare delegation explores UK opportunities in London and Cambridge

BritCham / CBBC
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Providing effective healthcare for all remains a core objective for China’s future development plans and China’s plans to allocate US$1 trillion in funding by 2020 demonstrate its commitment to providing healthcare services for all. As part of creating a holistic strategy for the provision of healthcare services for all, China recognises that international co-operation in healthcare education and information exchange is critical.

The China-Britain Business Council, supported by the UK Government’s GREAT campaign, brought a high-level delegation from the Chinese healthcare industry to London and Cambridge to experience the strengths of our education and healthcare systems and to discuss how the UK model can be successful in a Chinese context.

Delivering healthcare services for all across China is a considerable long-term challenge. Demographic, social and economic changes in China will test the country’s ability to deliver effective healthcare services to people regardless of their age, income or location. 

The CBBC delegation consisted of leading figures representing Chinese universities, hospitals and businesses, as well as doctors, investors and government organisations carefully selected to represent all stakeholders involved in healthcare development in China, each giving their own unique perspective on China’s needs in education and healthcare and how the UK can contribute.

Organisations represented

  • Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University
  • Shanghai JiaoTong University
  • The Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine
  • Hainan Medical University 
  • Fosun Pharmaceuticals
  • Alumni Association of China Medical University Beijing
  • Guizhou CREC Tourism & Culture Industry Development Co Ltd.
  • International Health Exchange and Cooperation Centre
  • Health Times, People’s Daily

 

On arriving in London, the delegation was received by a senior group from King's College London (KCL) and discussed respective strengths in clinical care and research and potential areas of co-operation between the UK and China in education and healthcare. KCL’s approach of working in close partnership with NHS hospitals and international organisations resonated with the delegation. By building structured education and healthcare partnerships, UK universities like KCL can deliver a pipeline of talent with the academic and practical skills required by the NHS and also increase employability opportunities for their students.

Further reinforcing this partnership approach, the delegation then went to visit Guy's and Barts NHS trust hospitals to experience first-hand how healthcare education is applied directly within NHS hospitals. Whilst the close integration of educational institutions, government, hospitals and businesses has proved to be an important element of both the Chinese and UK education and healthcare systems, the delegation also recognised the NHS's unique capacity to provide quality access to healthcare for all.

In addition to the collaborative approach in teaching and healthcare, the delegation was also struck by the use of technology driving innovative approaches to teaching and training in healthcare. The delegation witnessed a demonstration of how Barts NHS Trust teaching hospital used Google Glass technology as the surgeon was conducting the operation to give students real-time insight on medical procedures. With the full consent of the patient, NHS surgeons used the site virtualmedics.org, allowing students to log in and witness the procedures and ask questions during the operation. This brings practical learning to students and teachers outside the geographical confines of the hospital in remote areas and branch hospitals and clinics.

The opportunity to use technology to share knowledge across China’s vast area would allow it to deliver consistently high levels of practical healthcare education in regional cities as well as the major centres. The UK’s strengths in innovation demonstrated why the UK not only boasts a long heritage in the provision of healthcare education but also remains at the cutting edge of technology-based learning.

The UK’s strengths in partnerships, innovation and technology-based learning were recurring themes of the visit and were reflected in the Healthcare panel sessions at CBBC's China Business Conference 2015, which took place on day two of the visit. The delegation met CBBC members from the healthcare and education sector to discuss how UK and Chinese companies could work together on future healthcare projects.

 

 

Mr Fu Ming, vice secretary and director, International Division, Alumni Association of China Medical University Beijing, and president, International Cooperation Department, Guizhou CREC Tourism & Culture Industry Development Co Ltd, addressed the panel on behalf of the group and expressed genuine interest in working with UK organisations to develop education and healthcare in China. Mr Fu’s experience of working with CBBC, UKTI, Healthcare UK and IHG International Hospitals Group (UK) in a £1 billion city development project in Guizhou province gave him an insight into the possibilities of Sino-UK co-operation in healthcare, and he remained positive about future collaboration in the fields of healthcare and healthcare education.

“We are very impressed by the advanced modern management system and world leading innovative technology being used. Through the GREAT campaign, these innovative technologies have had a chance to be shown to the world and shown to China. I fully believe it will make great achievements in the win-win cooperation between our two countries.”

Mr Fu Ming
Vice Secretary and Director, International Division, Alumni Association of China Medical University Beijing
President, International Cooperation Department, Guizhou CREC Tourism & Culture Industry Development Co Ltd.

China is looking to create a strategy that incorporates all of the elements of excellent healthcare provision by creating a strong education platform and using modern technology to build and develop talent in China’s healthcare industry.

The final day took the delegation to the Moller Centre, Cambridge, to understand more about the UK’s National Health Service blueprint and how developing a strategic vision combining the UK’s strengths in education, healthcare leadership, business innovation and R&D forms an important part of delivering excellent healthcare for all.

Presentations from Dr Anne Blackwood, CEO of Health Enterprise East, Karen Livingstone from the Eastern Academic Health Science Network and Sally Standley from Cambridge University Health Partners gave an insight to some of the current and future priorities in the development of UK healthcare and how strategic planning incorporating the strengths and needs of multiple stakeholders is critical to developing excellent education and healthcare services. The UK’s expertise in healthcare leadership training was demonstrated by Louise Wang from the Moller Centre. The Moller Centre's series of China leadership workshops has created a dialogue between senior leaders within the NHS and Shanghai hospitals on how leadership in clinical care has been established in the UK and how it can be applied in China.

The week-long delegation visit demonstrated not only why education and healthcare in the UK are GREAT today, but also the UK's commitment to innovation and partnerships to create an even stronger system for tomorrow. The Chinese delegation left with a clear impression of why the UK as a whole is an excellent partner of choice when creating international solutions in education and healthcare. The delegation also had an opportunity to discuss with CBBC members some more immediate opportunities to co-operate.

Developing solutions in education and healthcare in China is a long-term commitment. The China-Britain Business Council and our partners UKTI, Healthcare UK and the GREAT Campaign remain committed to providing opportunities for UK businesses in China. 

To learn more about opportunities for your business in the education sector contact simon.stewart@cbbc.org.cn.

To learn more about opportunities for your business in the healthcare sector contact chris.cotton@cbbc.org.  

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