By Christopher Cottrell/ Images: Christopher Cottrell
The inaugural meetings of the Regional Healthcare Outreach (One Belt, One Road) held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia witnessed several high level medical exchanges between China and Cambodia this past weekend.
Founded by Prof. Manson Fok, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) and Dr. Billy Chan, Director for Center of Medical Excellence at the Faculty of Health Sciences at MUST, the Regional Healthcare Outreach (One Belt, One Road) was launched to better bridge medical education exchanges between China and the world—particularly the 30 countries that have signed the One Belt, One Road pact in Beijing last month.
“We chose Cambodia to bring our doctors from China to launch this program because Dr. Fok and I were given a tour of rural Cambodia’s medical situation by the Doctor Alliance Union Youth Federation of Cambodia (DA-UYFC) in 2015,” said Dr. Chan, who is the Co-Chair of the Regional Healthcare Outreach (One Belt, One Road).
Dr. Chan said, “Seeing that, Dr. Fok and I donated two sonograms last year and have a strong affinity for the Cambodian people. The two countries have a long standing friendship and history, so this is an honor to begin here.”
Dr. Chan led a strong Chinese medical delegation to meet with the Honorable Hun Many, a member of the Cambodia Parliament and President of DA-UYFC, Deputy Prime Minister Yim Chhay Ly, the Honorable Linda Yim, daughter of Deputy Prime Minister Yim and wife of Hun Many, the Honorable Heng Sokkung, Secretary of State for Industry, and the Honorable Ms. Tan Vouch Cheng, Secretary of Health of Cambodia, among others.
Dr. Chan’s Chinese doctor delegation included Mr. Zhang Guoxin, Director General for the Center for Public Health Emergency of the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) of the People’s Repulic of China, and Prof. Jiang Baoguo, President of the Peking University Peoples’ Hospital and Chairman of the China Alliance of Trauma Care.
Other key members of the China medical team to Cambodia included Prof. Li Tianshi, Chair of the Department of Emergency of the Chinese PLA 301 General Hospital, Prof. Wang Tianbing, President Assistant of the Peking University Hospital, Prof. Zhang Mao, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, and Prof. Han Na, of the Department of Orthopedics & Traumatology at Peking University Peoples’ Hospital.
Mr. Feng Jun, Chairman of the Board of Beijing Avaion Gene Technology, and Ms. Wang Xin, Board Member of Beijing Avaion Gene Technology were also prominent members of the Chinese delegation that came to support this new platform.
The first day began with visits to Cambodia’s top public healthcare facility, Calmette Hospital, and a Cambodian army hospital.
Dr. Koy Vanny of Calmette hospital explained that, “Today, we have close to 690 patients and just 530 beds. So we are very busy very often as all of the trauma patients from around Cambodia are sent here.”
Prof. Jiang Baoguo said, “My national trauma care program from China can help here and I would be honored to bring it because this city is like many in China with populations of a few million…My program from Beijing was made for cities of all scale and is not hard to introduce with communication and computers.”
Following this, the Honorable Linda Yim officiated a tour of a Cambodian army hospital that had received state-of-the-art equipment donations in 2015 from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
Said Prof. Li Tianshi, Chair of the Department of Emergency of the Chinese PLA 301 General Hospital, “We are always happy to help Cambodia. So I am happy to see this.”
The Honorable Linda Yim listened to patients’ stories during the tour and discussed more medical ideas of cooperation with Dr. Chan.
Dr. Chan said, “Seeing this standing collaboration and thanks to the Honorable Linda Yim, I am confident we will find points for further collaboration and exchange.”
A second day of exchanges witnessed a morning session with the Honorable Hun Many and Dr. Chan’s China medical delegation at the DA-UYFC headquarters.
“We’re developing the people to people point on the One Belt, One Road Initiative,” said the Honorable Hun Many.
In fact, Hun Many was in Beijing with his father, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Hun Sen, as part of their country’s commitment to the One Belt, One Road initiative.
Following a successful discussion regarding the groundwork for laying an MOU that would lead to tangible exchanges with measurable milestones, the delegation was welcomed at the Prime Minister’s government offices by Deputy Prime Minister Lim.
Being a former Minister of Health, he was happy to be in the company of doctors and stressed that China and Cambodia had a long history of friendship and could easily continue to cooperate.
His daughter the Honorable Linda Yim carried this conversation forward the following day by signing an MOU between the DA-UYFC and Peking University Peoples’ Hospital with Prof. Jiang Baoguo. The morning signing at Beltei International University was officiated by Ms. Tan Vouch Cheng, Secretary of Health of Cambodia and applauded by several hundred students at DA-UYFC members.
This was followed by high-level medical presentations, ranging from General Li’s talks of the PLA-s combat training lessons to Cambodian trauma injuries.
The specifics for exchange regarding the strengths of training from China and Cambodian human resources were further detailed in informal discussions officiated in the afternoon between the Honorable Linda Yim and Dr. Billy Chan—who explained the positions being offered by the NHFPC, PLA 301 Hospital, and Peking University Peoples’ Hospital. Also present in Linda Yim’s delegation were Secretary of State for Industry Sokkung Heng, and Under Secretary of State for Commerce, Cham Nimul.
Dr. Fok couldn’t attend the meetings as he was in New York City for the bell ringing of his NASDAQ IPO for his cancer therapy company Athenex; now listed as ATNX.
Dr. Chan said, “Dr. Fok extends his warm wishes and looks forward to coming to Cambodia for our next visit.”
Dr. Chan said, “These few days have been incredible to see the Chinese doctors learn of the Cambodian situation. For their doctors, especially their young doctors to learn from veteran medical professionals in trauma expertise, was inspiring.”
Dr. Chan added, “This country is very unique and special. It’s given us all a good dose of health and good feelings.”