BRI help­ing trans­form Pak­istan’s health­care sec­tor

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 13 Business - XIN­HUA

ISLAMABAD — The cen­tral con­fer­ence hall of the car­di­ol­ogy de­part­ment of Mayo Hos­pi­tal in Pak­istan’s eastern La­hore city was packed re­cently with a num­ber of cu­ri­ous car­di­ol­o­gists who were watch­ing live on TV a team of Chi­nese doc­tors con­duct­ing a non-sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dure in the hos­pi­tal’s op­er­a­tion the­ater.

The hall buzzed with ap­plause from the Pak­istani doc­tors when the leader of the Chi­nese team, Wu Yongjian, com­pleted the Per­cu­ta­neous Coronary In­ter­ven­tion pro­ce­dure on a pa­tient with com­pli­ca­tions, in­no­va­tively and in a com­par­a­tively short time.

Wu, direc­tor of the car­di­ol­ogy de­part­ment of the Fuwai Hos­pi­tal Bei­jing, had led a team of Chi­nese car­di­ol­o­gists un­der the Belt and Road In­ter­ven­tional Car­di­ol­ogy Train­ing Pro­gram and par­tic­i­pated in aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties in Pak­istan by at­tend­ing lec­tures and giv­ing case demon­stra­tions to train Pak­istani car­di­ol­o­gists and tech­ni­cians.

Wu, live from the op­er­a­tion the­ater, orated about the lat­est car­di­ol­ogy tech­niques and pro­ce­dures be­sides an­swer­ing queries raised by the au­di­ence.

In Septem­ber, the Pak­istan So­ci­ety of In­ter­ven­tional Car­di­ol­ogy, the Chi­nese Med­i­cal Doc­tor As­so­ci­a­tion and the Chi­nese Car­dio­vas­cu­lar As­so­ci­a­tion signed an agree­ment on the Belt and Road In­ter­ven­tional Car­di­ol­ogy Train­ing Pro­gram, aim­ing to es­tab­lish a long-term ex­change and co­op­er­a­tion plat­form.

Un­der the agree­ment, Pak­istani fel­lows would get spe­cialty train­ing in China and Chi­nese ex­perts would visit Pak­istan to con­duct case demon­stra­tions, and to share their med­i­cal and tech­nol­ogy man­age­ment ex­pe­ri­ence.

Nau­man Ali, a se­nior car­di­ol­o­gist from La­hore who watched the case demon­stra­tions and raised sev­eral ques­tions about the pro­ce­dure adopted by Wu, said that it was a golden op­por­tu­nity for doc­tors like him to learn modern tech­niques and tech­nol­ogy from Chi­nese doc­tors. He hoped that such ex­changes and co­op­er­a­tion would con­tinue to pro­vide more ex­po­sure to Pak­istani fel­lows.

Wu, who is also a com­mit­tee mem­ber of the BRIC Train­ing Pro­gram and a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the CCA, said he firmly be­lieved that the re­cent ac­tiv­i­ties will in­crease col­lab­o­ra­tion among Pak­istan, China and other coun­tries par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal of Pak­istan Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and Na­tional Health, the Pak­istani pop­u­la­tion has one of the high­est risks of coronary heart dis­ease in the world, as 30 to 40 per­cent of all deaths in Pak­istan are due to car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­eases.

Head of Car­di­ol­ogy De­part­ment of Mayo Hos­pi­tal, Saqib Shafi, said it is of great im­por­tance that the world-renowned Chi­nese pro­fes­sors and doc­tors have come to Pak­istan for aca­demic and pro­fes­sional train­ing pur­poses.

“Chi­nese doc­tors are at a very high level in terms of med­i­cal ex­per­tise and their teach­ings are im­prov­ing the skills of our se­nior and ju­nior doc­tors,” Shafi said, hop­ing that the col­lab­o­ra­tion with China would be con­verted into a long-term re­la­tion­ship that will help Pak­istan mod­ern­ize its health­care sec­tor by uti­liz­ing the lat­est tech­ni­cal train­ing and med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

On Oct 15, Pak­istan’s pre­mier post­grad­u­ate med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion con­ferred the coun­try’s top med­i­cal hon­orary de­gree of Fel­low­ship of the Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons upon four Chi­nese doc­tors for the first time to rec­og­nize their ser­vices as medics.

Wu was among the Chi­nese doc­tors who were hon­ored by the Col­lege of Physi­cians and Sur­geons Pak­istan.

On the oc­ca­sion, Wu vowed to play an ac­tive role to in­crease co­op­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two sides in the health sec­tor, es­pe­cially in the car­di­ol­ogy sec­tion.

Pres­i­dent of the CPSP, Za­far Ul­lah Chaudhry, said Pak­istan wanted to col­lab­o­rate with China in ev­ery field of the health sec­tor un­der the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

“China is ad­vanced in mul­ti­ple fields and we can learn from them, while in some ar­eas, Pak­istan is in a bet­ter po­si­tion so we can share our ex­per­tise and ex­pe­ri­ences with them,” Chaudhry said.

Talk­ing about the re­cent med­i­cal ex­changes be­tween China and Pak­istan, Health Min­is­ter of eastern Pun­jab province Yas­min Rashid said it is a good be­gin­ning for fu­ture col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two coun­tries for med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and health­care.

She said her min­istry is look­ing for­ward to fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion with China, which can help Pak­istani pro­fes­sion­als and com­mon peo­ple.

“As a doc­tor, I know that a hos­pi­tal can pro­vide good ser­vices even in a poor build­ing if the re­quired trained med­i­cal staff are present. But Pak­istan is run­ning short of newly trained medics with the most re­cent method­ol­ogy to tackle the ris­ing num­ber of pa­tients,” Rashid said.

She said there are more than 175,000 reg­is­tered doc­tors in Pak­istan and the ma­jor­ity of them are lag­ging be­hind in med­i­cal train­ing and the use of ad­vanced med­i­cal equip­ment. She hoped that fur­ther doc­tor and med­i­cal staff ex­change pro­grams could be es­tab­lished be­tween the two coun­tries to ad­dress the is­sue.

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