Economist Conferences’ Healthcare in China 2012 summit was held in Beijing today. The highly successful conference convened government officials, hospital heads, industry leaders as well as academic experts under the theme of "China’s Healthcare Agenda", providing an open space for dialogue unto viable solutions to address China’s healthcare needs and challenges. Following in the steps of three successful annual Healthcare in Asia summits, this marked the first time Economist Conferences organized such a country-specific regional summit, dedicated to China. Ruder Finn facilitated media partnership and sponsorship of different organizations, provided media outreach, media communications during the run up to and during the event as well as on-site media management.
Three years ago, China announced a comprehensive plan for healthcare reform, aimed at upgrading the country’s healthcare infrastructure and innovation capabilities towards the goal of universal healthcare access by 2020 and establishing world-class level care in China for citizens. Large amounts of resources and investments have subsequently been devoted to such efforts as expanding primary care facilities and improving access, with good progress observed on all fronts. However, in many ways, growth and spending in healthcare continues to lag behind general economic and social growth and there remains a myriad of continuing challenges which poses hindrances to future success.
As the Chairperson of the summit, Charles Goddard, Editorial Director, Asia-Pacific, Economist Intelligence Unit expressed in his opening address, "It has really been very exciting for us, to organize this particular event in China as this is one of the most important markets throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Healthcare reform began in earnest in 2009 and it probably rescued China from a public crisis, but I think it’s fair to say many challenges still remain. This is why we invite all participants today to join in on this conversation to search for the best path forward."
Overall, good progress has been made through the recent health reforms in China. The country is addressing its healthcare infrastructure with a new sense of resolve, and the social-safety net is starting to take shape. However, with a severe shortage of professional care providers, a stark imbalance between urban and rural health insurance schemes, and a lack of clarity on new revenue models for providers, questions are arising about how China will achieve the goals of its health reforms.
A key topic discussed was the rise of chronic diseases in China. A panel of experts, including Hao Xishan, President, Chinese Anti-Cancer Association (CACA), Henry Haipeng Zhang, Chief Executive Officer, China Resources Healthcare Group, and Michael O’Leary, China Representative, World Health Organization, Wu Xiaobin, Vice Chairman, R&D-based Pharmaceutical Association Committee (RDPAC) commented on how rapid economic, environmental, social and demographic changes have and will contribute to stark increases of chronic diseases in China. They then traded thoughts on the steps that the public and private sectors, separately and together, can take now to help ensure that China will achieve its health reforms goals in the long-term.
Other speakers in attendance at the summit included Yao Hong, Director-General, Health Insurance Department, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, China; Lei Haichao, Deputy Director-General, Beijing Health Bureau; Yu Dezhi, Director-General, China National Health Development Research Centre, Ministry of Health, China; Kalipso Chalkidou, Director,National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), International, UK; David Rutstein, Vice President for Medical Affairs, United Family Healthcare; Winnie Yip, Professor of Health Policy and Economics, University of Oxford; Wei Lai, Vice Chairman, Peking University People’s Hospital and Gordon Liu, Professor of Economics, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University; Member, The State Council Health Reform Advisory Commission, China.
Supporters for Healthcare in China 2012 include Roche as the Lead Sponsor andSwiss Re as the Supporting Sponsor and oneworld is the official airline partner.
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