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Brits help Shanghai hospitals save money
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-08 22:43

Shanghai municipal authorities and the British Government Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding for restructuring some Shanghai-based public hospitals with private funds.

According to the memorandum, the British Government will collaborate with Shanghai in health care reforms in publicly run hospitals.

In the process,Shanghai-based Bright TCM Hospital, will be restructured and operated as a planned PPP (private public partnership) model.

The PPP model will allow absorption of public funds, or funds from individuals, in a hospital. The effort is expected to lay out a model collaboration platform for medical services for China and Britain to follow.

The Britain-based Royal Brompton Hospital plans to collaborate with Shanghai International Medical Zone to establish a joint-venture heart and lung specialty hospital in Shanghai.

The investment in the joint venture will come in two phases, 400 million yuan (US$48 million) for each. Sources of the funds will mostly come from British private health care and financial organizations and Chinese individuals.

There are 500 public hospitals in Shanghai. As direct investments in public hospitals decrease, Shanghai is exploring sources of funds through reforms and new management endeavours.

Such co-operation covers promotion of health service quality, improvements of hospital facilities and community health care.

A British government delegation was in Shanghai for the signing.

Co-operation efforts will also focus on health care reform, general practice education, and herbal medicine.

Lord Warner, parliamentary under secretary of state for health in Britain, and Yang Xiaodu, vice-mayor of Shanghai, signed the memorandum.

"We are extremely excited to be working with Shanghai in these areas and there is no end for us to better the life of people," said Warner.

"We know that as the Chinese economy achieves great success, more money should be spent on health services. We face the same problem. But we are looking for good value for our money," he said.

The delegation expressed their appreciation for Shanghai's achievements in health care after visiting Shanghai Ruijin Hospital and community health service facilities.

A good health service system depends upon a strong partnership between the private sector and the government, said Yang Xiaodu.

The memorandum also involves the foundation of Sino-British General Practice Training Centre, where officials will help Shanghai establish a qualified general practice team.

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