Chinese healthcare to benefit from expertise of Scottish partners

6th August, 2015

Clinical staff and managers from China’s leading alliance of healthcare companies are to receive support and training from two of Scotland’s most prominent universities.

The University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee – both of which provide world-class medical research and teaching – have signed an agreement with the Strategic Alliance for the Medical & Healthcare Industry of China (SAMHIC).

The signing of the agreement took place in Shanghai and was witnessed by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, who was heading a Scottish Government trade mission to China.

Commenting on the new partnership, the First Minister said, “We have a world class higher education system paired with excellent medical schools in Scotland and I am delighted that the Universities of Edinburgh and Dundee have been able to partner with SAMHIC. This new partnership will allow many medical professionals, from both Scotland and China, to develop a first-rate programme of education, training and research.”

SAMHIC is a group of 20 influential Chinese enterprises that operates more than 2,500 hospitals in mainland China. Its members include a major Chinese insurance company, the world’s largest genomics research institute, digital health technology companies and the UK-based International Hospital Group.

Professor Andrew Morris, who is Vice-Principal for Data Science at the University of Edinburgh, described the comprehensive programme of training, education and research as exciting.

Professor Morris, who is also Director of the University’s Usher Institute for Population Health Sciences and Informatics, said, “We start in September by delivering the first in a series of two-day masterclasses in hospital management in China.

“We are also hosting a high-value study and networking workshop in Scotland that will focus on safety, informatics and integrated care. This gives SAMHIC a great early opportunity to experience our outstanding capabilities whilst, together, we develop a broader programme to improve medical care.”

The agreement includes continuing clinical education and training for thousands of nurses, doctors and other health professionals. This could be extended to other areas of work conducted by SAMHIC members and would harness Scotland’s world-renowned medical expertise, tradition of innovation, and experience of large-scale medical systems.

Professor John Connell, who is Vice Principal for Research at the University of Dundee, said it is a novel partnership that recognises the strengths of Scotland’s universities in medicine and healthcare education as well as research.

Professor Connell said, “The very strong links between Universities and the NHS in Scotland places us in a very strong position to add value to the SAMHIC collaboration.

“Our mission as a University is to help transform lives around the world by the creation and sharing of knowledge, and this project further extends our influence to a huge population in China, with the potential to bring huge benefits to patients.”

SAMHIC is backed by some of the China’s most respected entrepreneurs, whose business interests extend beyond healthcare.

Supporters include the Chairman of the New Hope Group, Liu Yonghao; real estate investor Feng Lun; the founder of Taikang Insurance, Chen Dongsheng; and the Chairman of the Vanhal Group, Weng Guoliang.

Dr David Jiang, Secretary General of SAMHIC said the goal of the organisation is to deliver the highest international standards of management and patient care.

He said, “We are delighted to be working with the University of Edinburgh and the University of Dundee as we need world-class partners to achieve this.

“Our members are very successful in China and led by well known, highly credible businessmen who are throwing their weight behind the development of our country’s healthcare system.

“The Chinese Government has a five-year roadmap for the reform of the healthcare sector including a 30 per cent increase in hospital beds in state-run hospitals and a twofold increase in privately invested hospitals. The opportunities for upskilling our workforce and providing advanced education are huge.”

University of Dundee News

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