Singapore and China Organisations Join Hands to Enhance Healthcare Services for the Aging Population in Yunnan

SIF inked a three-year partnership to establish a platform for healthcare professionals in Singapore and China to join hands in exchanging knowledge, skills and resources to address this shared social challenge.

Singaporean and Chinese healthcare professionals sharing at the SIF symposium on Enhancing Healthcare for an Aging Population

“In China, the number of people aged 60 and above grew from 178 million in 2010 to 202 million in 2013 – an average annual increase of 8 million people. The issue of an aging population is growing increasingly serious,” shared Ms Zhou Hong Mei, Head of Healthcare Policy and Management of the Yunnan Provincial Health and Family Planning Committee, at the opening ceremony of the SIF’s “Enhancing Healthcare Services for an Aging Population” programme in Yunnan, China.

On 18 May 2015, SIF inked a three-year partnership with Chinese partners the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University and the Yunnan Health and Development Research Association (YHDRA) to raise standards of healthcare services for the aged in Yunnan by establishing a platform for Singaporean and Chinese healthcare professionals to exchange skills, knowledge and resources in this area.

The partnership kicked off with a province-wide symposium bringing together healthcare professionals from Singapore and Yunnan to discuss common challenges and the way forward on healthcare for the elderly.

Professor Zhang Kai Ning, Secretary-General of the YHDRA, shared with Chinese and Singaporean participants at the symposium: “Today, we’re gathered together with the Singapore International Foundation’s support to commemorate Singapore-China cooperation to enhance Yunnan’s provision of healthcare for the aging – a very important issue for both our countries.”

Shared Ms Deng Dan Qi, Deputy Director of the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University: “With the strong support of the Yunnan Provincial Health and Family Planning Committee, the hospital is honoured to embark on this partnership that will bring together healthcare professionals and leaders from Yunnan and surrounding prefectures to exchange knowledge and expertise with Singapore. We believe this training programme will enhance the quality of primary healthcare services for Yunnan’s elderly patients.”

120 Chinese master trainers and speakers and professionals from various healthcare agencies as well as from the national and provincial levels of government were present at the symposium.

Following the symposium, the Singapore International Volunteer (SIV) team got to work training the 120 Chinese master trainers in focus areas of rehabilitation and chronic disease management. Shared Associate Professor Goh Lee Gan, SIV team lead, “Different trainers from various agencies and prefectures are coming together at this platform to draw on a common pool of knowledge…I can tell that the master trainers are engaged and incentivised to learn from this training as they can see the application and relevance for China.”

The programme implements SIF’s train-the-trainers model, and will see 120 Chinese master trainers, from the medical, nursing and allied health disciplines and representing tertiary hospitals in Kunming and surrounding prefectures like Lincang, Zhaotong and Pu’er, equipped with the relevant expertise and teaching skills to further train their peers and colleagues – thereby raising the overall quality of healthcare services for the elderly in Yunnan.

From right: Professor Zhang Kai Ning, YHDRA, SIF Governor David Chong and Ms Deng Dan Qi, Second Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, with the signed Letters of Agreement marking the Singapore-China partnership.

Through province-wide symposiums and study visits to Singapore, the programme will also provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning and cooperation to help strengthen professional and personal ties between both healthcare communities and over time forge a strong network of key healthcare players in China connected to and collaborating with Singaporeans to build a better world.

SIF Governor David Chong shared, “We are truly excited about SIF’s first specialist programme in China, a three-year partnership that will facilitate learning and exchange between Chinese and Singaporean healthcare professionals, collectively improving the quality of primary healthcare services for aging patients.

Singapore and China have enjoyed good longstanding relations – this year marks the 25th anniversary of Singapore’s diplomatic relations with China. The SIF has been collaborating with Chinese partners through cultural and business exchange programmes since 1993, facilitating visits and exchanges with distinguished visitors, diplomats, artists, journalists, business professionals and students between both our countries. We look forward to this programme as another initiative that builds upon the many co-operative projects in areas of common interest and importance for both countries, and strengthens the people-to-people ties between the people of Singapore and China.”

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