China-Pakistan health corridor | By Dr Muhammad Shahbaz 

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China-Pakistan health corridor


THE fast-growing population and the number of disease and complexity makes it far difficult for one country to tackle the healthcare issues successfully.

Post Covid-19 era has increased the significance of multidisciplinary and multinational cooperation to combat the current pandemic situation and to establish a state-of-the-art system to revolutionize the healthcare system for a healthy and prosperous future for our posterity.

China-Pakistan Medical Association (CPMA) initiative was much needed and it can play a pivotal role in the establishment of cooperation between China and Pakistan in health and education sector to combat with this issue of our modern times.

CPMA is a not-for-profit, voluntary, registered organization to achieve excellence in medical education, research, innovation & training and promote leadership and therefore further the influence of Pakistani medical professionals and students in the People’s Republic of China.

The CPMA initiative was inspired by the concept of China-Pakistan Health Corridor and it’s established to strengthen the medical cooperation between China and Pakistan.

There are more than 68,000 medical students studying in China making up 13.8% of the total 492,000 of university students and Pakistani students rank No.2 with overall 28000 students studying in different fields.

Currently more than 7500 Pakistani medical students are studying here and so far more than 15,000 students have graduated from China since 2001. The majority of them have learned MBBS.

A number of them have got Masters and PhD Degrees. CPMA will play an important role to solve problems of Pakistani medical students and doctors.

In Pakistan, there are 281072 registered doctors with Pakistan Medical Commission(1 doctor for 782 people) a majority of these doctors need medical training and advanced medical equipment.

There are 32030 specialist doctors (1 specialist doctor for every 6868 people) registered with CPSP.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics report 2019 there are 133707 beds in hospitals and dispensaries making it 1 bed for 1645 people and national health infrastructure is comprised of 1279 hospitals, 5527 BHUs, 747 Maternity & Child Health Centers, and 1400 TB centres.

China has vast healthcare facilities with 8 million health workers, including 3 million practicing doctors, 800,000 surgeons, 6 million nurses, and 27,215 hospitals.

CPMA can provide platform for doctor and medical staff exchange programs can be established to train doctors and medical staff in Pakistan. China has 102 surgical robots in 84 hospitals, plus advanced laparoscopic surgery machines.

Pakistani doctors and surgeons could learn advanced medical and surgical skills especially in the field of robotic and laparoscopic surgery.

The concept of CPMA was put forward in 2018. There has been a dire need of a platform to link Chinese and Pakistan healthcare system and to highlight the deficiencies in the medical Education system and to promote the cooperation in Medical Education, Research, Training, Exchange programs & establishing a multidisciplinary links between China and Pakistan.

Journal of China-Pakistan Medical Association is also an excellent initiative launched by CPMA to enhance medical education and research innovation and provide a platform for medical students and professional to publish their research work.

Pakistan Medical Commission, Pakistan Medical Association and College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan, King Edward Medical University & University of Health Sciences can cooperate with institutes to start medical and surgical training programs.

Pakistani Ambassador to China H.E Mr. Moin ul Haque, in a message, congratulated the CPMA President and all the team of CPMA for the excellent initiative and pledged Pakistan Embassy’s support for CPMA to further strengthen the ties in healthcare field and promote China-Pakistan Friendship.

The year 2021, marks the 70th anniversary of China Pakistan diplomatic relations China Pakistan Health Corridor is vital for the prosperity and healthy cooperation.

CPMA will provide a platform for Pakistani Medical students, doctors, researchers and allied medical professionals to achieve excellence in the field and communicate internationally with Medical Institutes, Hospitals, Nursing & Paramedical , Research & Training Centres, IT, R & D, and Government Institutions.

Pakistani hospitals can be digitalized. Big Data centres can be established in top hospitals, tracking and keeping record of patients will be easy in this way. Telemedicine joint sessions can be held frequently”.

Pakistan and China medical institutions have started cooperation and a number of MoUs have been signed between the medical institutions of both the countries.

The writer, a recipient of the Chinese government “Ambassador of Silk Road Friendship Award” for China-Pakistan Health Corridor Project in 2020 has been working to build the Pak-China Health Corridor so that it could improve healthcare in Pakistan.

He proposes that more hospitals could be established along CPEC so that Pakistani medical graduates from China could do internships and work in these hospitals.

He further emphasized the need of mobile hospitals and big data centres using multidisciplinary links in regional healthcare centre of China-Pakistan Health Corridor.

CPMA will also pave a path for China Pakistan Health Corridor which is vital for the prosperity and healthy cooperation for China and Pakistan ties and will provide a platform to strengthen the existing networks and forge new relationships and to achieve excellence in healthcare cooperation.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in China.

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