Kenneth Clarke, prime minister’s trade envoy and cabinet minister of the UK, visited Zhejiang Province on January 16 with the largest medical and social security delegation the country has ever organized, which consists of 38 representatives from British enterprises, universities and teaching hospitals.
The two sides signed a MOU on medical cooperation at the UK-Zhejiang Medical and Health Cooperation Forum. “The UK has a very developed medical system and as China is projecting massive reform and investment in its medical sector in the future, Britain’s medical industry is set to embrace enormous export opportunities,” Clarke noted.
Chris Born, a Healthcare Specialist at Healthcare UK, introduced the country’s medical service system and hospital reform. Born noted that the “general practitioners as gatekeepers” system has been well established and 90% of patients will have the first appointments with their primary care doctors, instead of going to hospital. The ongoing reform focuses on how to better prioritize patients and provide them with more options.
“We’ve actually started to cooperate with the UK since a long time ago, and our reform will definitely need to refer to their experience in health management, short-term training for specialist physicians and IT architecture,” said Ma Weihang, deputy director of Zhejiang Provincial Health and Family Planning Commission, at the forum.
Both China and Britain are facing the same challenges such as an aging population and chronic diseases, Born said. The two sides’ cooperation will hopefully work out these problems and China’s experience in medical reform also offers lessons for us.
Also on January 16, Healthcare UK and Zhejiang Provincial Health Information Center signed a MOU on e-health cooperation; the UK-based TPP SystmOne and Zhejiang Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention signed a MOU on cooperation.
Source: Hangzhou Government