Renowned Cleveland Clinic collaborates with Chinese hospital in new affiliation program

China 24

Renowned Cleveland Clinic collaborates with Chinese hospital in new affiliation program

Over the past 40 years, China and the U.S. have collaborated on a variety of fronts.

One bridge that’s emerged is in the medical field.

Recently, a widely-respected hospital in the U.S. teamed up with China.

CGTN’s Frances Kuo has more on how patients might benefit.

At nearly 70 hectares, the Cleveland Clinic is a mammoth presence in Ohio’s second largest city.

The Clinic has also left quite a mark in the medical world as one of the top hospitals in the United States.

“We are constantly at the cutting edge when it comes to leading technologies and best practices when it comes to how we take care of our patients and their families,” said Dr. Seth Podolsky of the Cleveland Clinic.

The Clinic is world-renowned for several specialties including its heart and vascular departments.

Now it’s delving into a new mission with China as its partner.

“It’s really the best of the East, the best of the West,” said Dr. Podolsky.

China is the inaugural member of the Clinic’s new international affiliation program.

Cleveland will collaborate with one of the Luye Medical Group’s medical centers in Shanghai.

From thousands of kilometers away, patients at the Chinese hospital can receive consultations from doctors at the Clinic about diagnoses and treatment options.

“Saving time and money of not having to travel to Cleveland, there’s a lot we can do remotely,” said Dr. Podolsky.  “It’s really the ability to serve patients where they live.”

China currently faces an acute doctor shortage and growing elderly population.

The Clinic could be a valuable resource, said Dr. Michael Tong, a cardiac surgeon at the Clinic and a native of Shanghai.

“Overall we take care of much older patients and much more complex cases,” said Dr. Tong.

Dr. Tong also said though China’s healthcare system is predominantly public and government-funded, the growth of a wealthier population has increased interest in private facilities.

“As consumers are getting more sophisticated, the demand will continue to increase on their part, and they will continually need to find ways to be innovative,” said Dr. Tong.

This is the Cleveland Clinic’s first international affiliation but even before this initiative, China was already on its radar.

“When you go to China, the first thing that strikes you, when you go to hospitals is how many patients there are,” said Dr. Tong.  “We do over 4,000 open heart operations a year but in Beijing there’s a hospital that does 15,000. They’re able to do a lot, in a very efficient, cost-effective manner.”

Dr. Tong said this new partnership is a two-way street and that the Cleveland Clinic can also learn from its Chinese counterparts.

The Clinic hasn’t ruled out expanding to other parts of China, wherever care is needed.

“Health is universal, there are no boundaries,” said Dr. Tong.

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