China can drive global advancement in healthcare: 2017 John Yu Oration

To celebrate 10 years of The George Institute for Global Health being established in China, the 2017 John Yu Oration celebratory event was hosted by The China-Australia Chamber of Commerce (AustCham) in Beijing on 3 November. Over 130 distinguished guests, including policymakers, members of the health and business sectors, and diplomats, academics and scientists participated.

Her Excellency Ms. Jan Adams AO PSM, Ambassador of Australia to the People’s Republic of China, Professor Qiudan Sun, Director of Office of International Cooperation, Peking University Health Science Center, and Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney (The University of New South Wales) opened the ceremony by extending their warm welcome to participants. They spoke highly of the achievements that The George Institute for Global Health has made in clinical practice and public health, and expressed their congratulations on the 10th anniversary of The George Institute for Global Health being in China.

Professor Changsheng Ma, Director of Cardiology, Beijing Anzhen Hospital, was awarded 2017 John Yu Medal in recognition of his major contributions to clinical practice and research in cardiovascular medicine, both within China and internationally, and gave an address.

“We are proud that we can honor a global leader like Professor Ma who has done so much to improve the health of Chinese people, especially in the area of cardiovascular medicine,” said Robyn Norton, co-Principal Director of The George Institute. “Professor Ma has established the standard for arrhythmia ablation treatment of heart disease in China, and trained large numbers of doctors in such procedures. As the pioneer in the field of catheter ablation and other treatments of atrial fibrillation in China, he leads teams that achieve excellence at an international level.”

During the Oration, Professor Ma shared his experience of growing up to be a leading cardiologist and talked about emerging issues in China. “In recent decades, China has experienced rapid economic transformation, which at the same time has resulted in unhealthy lifestyle and significant environmental changes, together with an aging of the population. As a consequent of these changes, the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) has increased and presents great challenges to the economy, healthcare system, and whole society, such as scarce medical resources and health professionals working in rural area. Conversely, with the booming of mobile health and AI technology, offers innovative solutions to health care and glory period for China health industry.”

“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of this year’s John Yu Award,” Professor Ma said after the oration, “The health challenges before us require wisdom and innovation only achievable through partnership across sectors and nations. I count myself privileged to have had the opportunity to serve on the frontline of efforts to improve people’s health."

Following the oration, Professor Craig Anderson, Executive Director of The George Institute China, looked back the 10 year history of The George Institute in China, and announced a new John Yu Fellowship for bright Chinese health professionals to undertake higher degree research studies in Australia. “During the past 10 years, we have remained committed to translating research outcomes into policy and practice. Our mobile technologies platform provides great opportunity to improve the accessibility and quality of healthcare to many sections of the Chinese population. Without doubt, we remain committed to working with Chinese partners to continue contributing to people’s healthcare in the future.”

The John Yu Oration is an annual flagship event in The George Institute’s ongoing engagement with key stakeholders, government and non-government organisations to improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.