First Swiss UAS Delegation on Health Care in China

Comparing to the past, people are enjoying longer healthy life expectancies as the living standard has been greatly improved. Consequently we are witnessing a larger ageing population. Facing this issue, how can we help to make their senior life better? With the fast development of science and technology, the application of its achievement on “Healthy Ageing” has given us an answer.

On the topic of “Healthy Ageing”, a delegation of experts from various universities of applied sciences in Switzerland is having a study trip in China, Japan and Korea. Concerning the programs in China, there are mainly 2 parts, Beijing part and Shanghai part.

Beijing

The healthy ageing study trip in China started with a workshop at the WHO China office in Beijing. After a first introduction round, the science and education section talked about possibilities for research and education collaboration with China. Then, Dr. Tuohong Zhang from WHO provided an introduction into the Chinese healthcare system. At last, Ms. Ninie Wang from China’s biggest home health care provider, Pinetree Ltd., talked about their growing business activities in China. After a networking lunch at WHO, the delegation visited DeSheng Community Health Service Center, an institution focusing on family doctor services and home-based hospice, for example for patients with terminal cancer, senility at an advanced age and grave chronic diseases with home-based healthcare.

On the occasion of a delegation visit from Swiss universities of applied sciences consisting of experts in the area of ageing, the Embassy of Switzerland in China then organized a panel discussion and reception with respective Chinese colleagues on the Topic: The Future of Ageing in Switzerland and China: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities.

Before the panel started, H.E. Jean-Jacques de Dardel, Ambassador of Switzerland to China, welcomed the audience to his residence and reflected in his welcome speech on the health care developments in Switzerland. Prof Liu Fang, Deputy Director of China Research Center on Ageing, then held a keynote speech on the latest developments of ageing in China. Her speech included the latest results of a survey the research center recently conducted with the aim to better understand current living conditions and needs of the elderly.
During the subsequent panel discussion which was moderated by Michael Waser, Deputy Head of the Science and Education Section at the Swiss Embassy, the following Chinese and Swiss experts discussed the main challenges and exchanged experiences in the different countries:

  • LONGERICH Heidi, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Director of Institute of Nursing / Health Professions
  • VERLOO Henk, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland, Senior Researcher / Nursing Science
  • PAN Yi, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Professor of Social Policy
  • YU Lixin, YYK Healthcare Management Co. Ltd, Founder and Chairwoman of Board
  • WANG Ninie, Pinetree Senior Care Services, Co-Founder and CEO

An interesting point raised during the discussion was that the status of nurses had to be increased so that the profession would be attractive to enough for potential students. It was clear to the audience that neither of the two countries has a perfect solution and both countries can learn a lot from each other.

The second day started with a field visit to the Huayuancun Health Service Station which is one of eight service stations affiliated to Ganjiakou Community Healthcare Center, an online-to-offline healthcare monitoring and management solution that is free of charge for all residents living in the area. In the afternoon, the delegation visited Peking Union Medical College Hospital, one of China’s most renowned and technically advanced institutions. The second, day ended with a traditional Peking duck dinner.

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Shanghai

During their stay in Shanghai, they’ve had 3 events, namely, Welcome Dinner on Oct. 19th, Workshop at swissnex and Campus Visit & Roundtable Discussion at Novartis on Oct. 20th as well as Field Trip in Suzhou on Oct. 21st.

Oct. 19th, a dinner was held in DIN TAI FUNG, a Taiwanese chain famous for its Chinese snack food including steamed dumplings. The delegation together with CEO of swissnex and Swiss students as well as interns spent a lovely evening together. During the dinner, with delicious cuisine being served, ideas have been exchanged and experience has been shared. Everyone has had a memorable moment of happiness.

To help better understand the integration of new technology and elderly health care, a workshop: How to Integrate New Technology to Elderly Health Care was held at swissnex on the morning of Oct. 20th. Through the workshop, knowledge has been transferred and cooperation has been discussed. Members of the delegation, experts from academia and industry have participated in and have offered inspiring speeches:

  • MAIER Edith, St. Gallen University of Applied Sciences, Senior researcher and lecturer / Economics, Institute for Information & Process Management
  • BARRETTINO Diego, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Southern Switzerland, Head of Laboratory, Department of Innovative Technologies
  • MATTES Urs, Mathys Ltd Bettlach, Healthcare Executive in Life Science / Author of the book Yin and Yang your Health
  • YANG Guoyuan, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Vice Director of Med-X Institute, Director of rehabilitation engineering institute
  • XIE Le, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Vice Director of rehabilitation engineering institute
  • MULLER Fabio, Swiss Business Hub, Director of trade promotion
  • Antony PEI, MIS Technology

In the afternoon, the delegation was invited to the Novartis campus for a visit and roundtable discussion. Delegation members and Novartis scientists have delivered speeches. In the later discussion, experts from both sides communicated to have a better understanding about challenges faced by health care system and pharmacy in Switzerland and China, etc. Speakers include scientists from Novartis and:

  • BRUEGGER Urs, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Head of School of Management and Law
  • KLOUCEK Petr, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV
  • KHUNE Nicolas, University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland

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On Oct. 21st, the delegation went to Suzhou, a beautiful city close to Shanghai to have a field trip. In the morning, they paid a visit to MedPark, which is a national level emerging industry group that brings together the strengths of Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology located in Suzhou Science and Technology Town. The deputy director of MedPark showed the delegation around their showroom to help have a clearer picture about their group. Afterwards, two companies from the industry made introductions of their companies and products to the delegation to seek further cooperation.

At noon, a lovely lunch was hosted in a beautiful restaurant with a great mountain view. Delicious local food has been provided. In the afternoon, a campus visit to Suzhou Yiyang Elderly Home was organized. During the visit, the deputy director of the elderly home made a short introduction about their service with a video clip. Then the delegation was showed around the campus to have an immersive experience about how the elderly home is operated. Some seniors who can speak English shared their feelings about living in this big family as well.

In the evening, the delegation had a Suzhou style dinner at an ancient street in the old town. Afterwards a night visit to The Master of the Nets Garden started where the delegation appreciated Suzhou operas as well as traditional singing and dancing performances.

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This trip in China serves as a starting point for further understanding in health care field of both sides. Some members of the delegation have individually built connections with local universities or companies. All the related events of this trip have helped to make further discussion concerning this issue, and have provided opportunities for possible cooperation in the future as well.