UK's National Health Service to help create hospital in China

By Angus McNeice in London | | Updated: 2017-09-19 00:28

Chinese developers are teaming up with the United Kingdom's National Health Service to build a new hospital in Fuzhou, in Southeast China's Fujian province, that will specialize in care for the elderly and treating people with cancer and heart problems.

The Rongqiao Group, a large-scale Fuzhou-based property development company, sought NHS expertise to help it move into the health and care market. The company aims to oversee the facility's completion by 2019.

The project has the support of the British government's Department for International Trade, and collaborators include the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester's Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and the Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust.

Greg Hands, the UK's international trade minister, said:"The NHS is globally respected for its world-class healthcare, and exporting this expertise abroad brings investment back into the UK."

Funds provided by the Rongqiao Group to the NHS for its services will be reinvested into patient care in the UK.

Northumbria Healthcare, which is rated as "outstanding" by the UK's Care Quality Commission, operates 11 hospitals and health centers in the county of Northumberland in Northeast England.

The Rongqiao Group is working with Northumbria on developing a clinical model based around integrated healthcare, in which patients receive treatment both at hospital and at home, and the hospital partners with local authorities to provide social care.

Jared Djuhar, director of the Rongqiao Group, said: "Our vision is to improve the standard of medical care in China, starting with a world-class medical facility in Fuzhou. We believe that Northumbria, with its successful experience in integrated care in the UK, will be able to bring the best of the NHS to our project."

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Liverpool Heart and Chest NHS Foundation Trust will provide consultation services related to the hospital's cancer and cardiac units respectively.

Representatives from the NHS trusts have visited Fuzhou to help carry out a feasibility study for the new hospital, and Northumbria has provided UK training for delegations of Chinese doctors and nurses.

Claire Davies, director of communications at Northumbria Healthcare, said:"The latest Commonwealth Fund Report puts the UK health system as the most efficient and effective healthcare system in the world. So, a lot of countries are coming to the outstanding organizations within the NHS to get that advice, support and understanding on how they can develop world-class healthcare facilities."

Davies said Northumbria's expertise in elderly care is relevant to the Fuzhou project and China's health system at large, as the country contends with an aging population.

Rongqiao was partnered with the three NHS trusts by the UK International Healthcare Management Association, which facilitates connections between businesses and healthcare providers in the UK.

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