U.S., China Announce Public-Private Health Care Partnership

In conjunction with the state visit to the U.S. by Chinese President Hu Jintao, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and several other federal agencies on Wednesday announced a new public-private health care partnership between the U.S. and China, Modern Healthcare reports (Blesch, 1/19).

Working together on the initiative, which aims to foster cooperation in research, training and regulation, as well as expand access to health care services in China, will be the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the U.S. Department of Commerce, China’s Ministries of Health and Commerce, 12 U.S. companies and six supporting organizations, according to an HHS press release. “Participating U.S. companies initially include 3M, Abbott, Chindex, Cisco, General Electric, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic, Microsoft, Motorola, and Pfizer. Supporting organizations include AdvaMed, the Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness, the American Chamber of Commerce in China, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, PhRMA and the U.S.-China Business Council,” the release states.

“The economic and social development of any nation depends on the health and productivity of its people,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said, according to the press release. “This partnership builds on a strong foundation of bilateral cooperation in this critical sector of our economies,” she added.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said of the plan, “The partnership will draw its strength from U.S. companies strategically working together to help China achieve its development goals that will open new export markets for U.S. goods and services,” according to the HHS release (1/19).

International Business Times reports that “[t]hrough programs supported by the initiative, Chinese participants will gain greater access to U.S. private sector expertise and ingenuity and better awareness of new technologies and results-oriented regulatory processes, U.S. officials said. Initially, these goals will be advanced through a USTDA-funded Healthcare Professional Personnel Exchange Program that will include a series of visits by Chinese healthcare officials to the United States to share best practices and witness new and innovative technologies that will be important to long-term healthcare delivery.”

The article includes a breakdown of “China’s health care market and potential,” as measured by the Alliance for Healthcare Competitiveness, one of the supporting organizations involved in the U.S.-China partnership (Picard, 1/19).

The HHS press release states that “[o]ver time, the partnership will enhance cooperation in areas such as rural health care, emergency response, personnel training, medical information technology, and management systems; while also exploring ways to support other fields such as integrative and traditional Chinese medicine” (1/19).

A U.S.-China joint statement says that during President Hu’s U.S. visit, “[t]he United States and China acknowledged the accomplishments under the bilateral Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology, one of the longest-standing bilateral agreements between the two countries, and welcomed the signing of its extension. The United States and China will continue to cooperate in such diverse areas as agriculture, health, energy, environment, fisheries, student exchanges, and technological innovation in order to advance mutual well-being” (1/19).

U.S. Congressmen, Human Rights Advocates Call For Chinese President To End Country’s One-Child Policy

Marking day one of the President Hu’s U.S. visit on Tuesday, Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Frank Wolf (R-Va.) joined human rights advocates on Capitol Hill “to urge the Chinese president to end China’s One-Child Policy, a population control measure implemented by the government in the late ’70s,” ABC News reports. The article examines how Ling Chai, a former Chinese dissident leader during the Tiananmen Massacre, took up the charge to draw attention to the policy, which “include fines for failure to comply and, in some areas of China, human trafficking and forced abortions.”

During the Capitol Hill event, “Chai and Smith called on Obama and other state officials to advocate against the population measure,” according to ABC News, which due to “social pressures to have a male heir,” often affects girls more than boys. “During the press conference, Chai presented a petition of 1,500 signatures urging Obama to draw attention to forced abortion and gendercide with the Chinese president,” the news service writes. The article includes quotes from Chai and Smith, as well as Brian Lee, executive director of All Girls Allowed, an organization advocating against the One-Child Policy (Kim, 1/19).

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