China is seeing a shortage of doctors and nurses, most significantly in rural areas where they are often needed most. But now, a new training base in Sichuan Province will knock down the walls preventing top healthcare knowledge from reaching these areas by making full use of the expertise of its most skilled doctors and professors.
GE Healthcare China and the Chinese Medical Doctor Association are following last week’s announcement that GE Healthcare is planning to train over two million healthcare professionals around the world by the year 2020 with the establishment of a National Primary Imaging Doctor Training Base at West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Primary doctors in western China will now have access to training that will enhance their diagnostic and imaging skills.
As Mario Lois, General Manager of Global Education Services at GE Healthcare, said after the announcement, “Even if we develop best-in-class technologies, the users that operate those devices are at least as impactful, if not more, on the actual efficiency and patient outcomes as the product itself.”
The training initiative’s implementation in China is being led by the National Primary Imaging Doctor Training Base, at the West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Announced on July 23rd, the training base will widen access to medical training for doctors in one of China’s most populous regions.
“Sichuan is one of China’s most populated province but we face an uneven distribution of healthcare resources, talent gap and lack of quality patient care,” said Li Weimin, President of West China Hospital of Sichuan University.
“The co-established training base by GE Healthcare China and Chinese Medical Doctor Association will be an important part of this hospital. After being trained, doctors will return to their hospitals with greater diagnostic capabilities and they will, in turn, be able to train other doctors.”
The training base will reinforce China’s efforts to improve healthcare across the nation, in accordance with China’s Five Year Plan established with the assistance of the World Health Organization (WHO). The government has acknowledged that, even though many parts of the country are booming economically, millions of citizens are failing to feel the benefits as disparity remains in its healthcare system.
Dr. Wang Zhiqing experienced the training first-hand. He graduated from North Sichuan Medical College, and is now Associate Chief Physician of the Department of Radiology and Imaging at the Panzhihua Central Hospital of Sichuan Province. He took part in the program designed by GE Healthcare and the Chinese Medical Doctors Association, and truly felt his skills as a physician were consolidated and improved, to the benefit of his patients and junior doctors.
“As a radiologist, I feel a sense of achievement and pride from accurate diagnoses,” he said. “I take healing the sick as my responsibility and mission as a doctor.”
“It is difficult to learn and apply the complex MR technologies solely relying on rural hospitals like ours, let alone new technologies are constantly coming out,” he added. “We need technical guidance and support from magnetic resonance product suppliers such as GE Healthcare or other teaching hospitals.”
By making full use of the training on offer, Dr. Wang Zhiqing not only honed his skills and expertise, but also made sure he could pass the knowledge on to other doctors in his hospital.
“Young doctors should absorb more clinical knowledge in rotation so as to know better about clinical demands in imagery analysis. They should also have a comprehensive understanding of X-ray, CT, MR, sonography and nuclear medicine, so that they find their path after residency,” he said.
GE Healthcare, working closely with the Chinese Medical Doctors Association (CMDA), has trained more than 6,500 rural doctors in China since 2011 through sessions featuring professors as guest lecturers from some of the most influential Level 3 hospitals across China.
“Our experience in China shows the importance of building local capabilities and supporting primary healthcare talent,” said Diana Tang, Vice President of GE Healthcare Greater China and COO of GE Healthcare Systems. “We are not only committed to providing healthcare products and solutions for the primary market, but we are also focused on building capability around healthcare talent. By continuing to work closely with the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, we are helping to improve capabilities of primary doctors for better patient outcomes.”