Fostering health partnerships with China

5 November 2013

The health challenges that will confront China and Australia at the turn of the next decade were discussed at a recent symposium in Beijing hosted by Peking University Health Science Centre (PKUHSC) and the University of Sydney.

The symposium was an interdisciplinary initiative involving delegates from Sydney Medical School, Sydney Nursing School and the Faculty of Dentistry.

The event explored many of the common issues faced by health professionals and policymakers in both countries, such as the uneven population distribution between urban and rural areas, and the demands of an ageing population.

The Vice-President of PKUHSC, Professor Xian Wang, welcomed the delegation from Sydney and stressed the need for cooperation in the areas of professional development and rural health care.

Professor Chris Peck, Dean of the University's Faculty of Dentistry, emphasised the need to strengthen the performance of health systems in both countries by 2020.

Professor Andrew Wilson, director of the University's Menzies Centre for Health Policy, talked about the factors affecting Australia's future health workforce capacity, and exchanged ideas on how to attract and retain rural health workers in China.

Professor Jill White, Dean of Sydney Nursing School addressed a group of 70 people in the Models of Care 2020 session, while Professor Peck discussed simulation learning as a future model of education.

Several of the Chinese speakers pointed out the potential for collaboration in community-based health care with Australia, an area now being encouraged by the Chinese Government and in which Australia has strong experience.

Sydney Medical School has an active student exchange arrangement with PUKHSC and a number of research partnerships. Professor Tony Keech from the University's NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Professor Stephen Colagiuri from the University's Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders recently delivered seminars on advanced clinical trials, diabetes and vascular diseases at PKUHSC in Beijing.

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