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China looks to Australia for Health Management Solutions

A delegation of Chinese health officials will arrive at the Gold Coast on Friday to study Australia’s public health system.

Nineteen senior officials from the Zhejiang Province Bureau of Health in China will complete a five-day course at Bond University’s Centre for Executive Education, entitled “Contemporary Issues in Australian Health Care Management”.

To be delivered by a combination of Bond University academic staff and senior practising clinicians, the course aims to give the officials a broad knowledge of how the Australian health system operates, and how it is funded.

Associate Professor of Health Management at Bond University Professor Richard Olley designed the course and said the Gold Coast’s reputation for handling its significantly high demand for health services within finite resources had spiked the interest of the Chinese health officials.

“It is probably reasonable to say that Australia has one of the best health systems in the world and the Australian population is in better health than most,” Professor Olley said.

“The Gold Coast in particular provides a good case study for managing a rapid growth in demand for health resources to service a burgeoning population.

“China is facing similar pressures, so through learning about the Gold Coast and Australia’s approach to public health, the Zhejiang Province Health Bureau hopes to be able to evolve their own health system to bring it up to contemporary standards,” he said.

Professor Olley said the visiting officials are particularly interested in prevention and wellness measures, rather than just methods for treating illnesses.

“The Medicare system is something that they’re very interested in – there is no such ‘safety net’ or universal health cover in China at present,” he said.

Along with health administration, the Bureau also requested that the course specifically cover food safety, HIV/AIDs prevention and control and mental health services.

“We’ve designed the course around their (the Bureau’s) requirements and have been able to use our influence with many senior practising clinicians in South-East Queensland to provide experienced speakers at the top of their field.

“China is going through quite a significant evolution across many of their public service systems at present, so this opportunity may open many lucrative markets for Bond University and Australia across other Chinese provinces,” Professor Olley said.

The delegation of health officials from Zhejiang Province will be available for a photo opportunity at Bond University at 8.45am on Friday, April 9.

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