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Xinjiang eyes medical ties with neighboring countries


05-02-2017 08:30 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Forum for Int'l Cooperation

(Source: CGTN)

In the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, cross-border medical cooperation is on the rise – benefiting citizens of China's neighbors. Dozens of hospitals in Xinjiang, especially in its capital city Urumqi, are receiving international patients, and seeking to promote medical skills and knowledge in the region.

Hospitals in Urumqi are taking part in many more cross-border consultations recently. Doctor Wang Ying and her colleagues in this hospital are checking a patient with spinal disease some 1,000 kilometers away in Kazakhstan through translation online.

The consultation is part of the medical cooperation between China and its neighbors.

"The tele-consultation is really convenient. It helps me receive a diagnosis at home from doctors in China for further treatment," Arman, patient in Kazakhstan, said.

And this hospital practicing Western medicine now has regular patients visiting from abroad.

"These patients we receive are mainly from our neighboring countries like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Most of the foreign patients are from Kazakhstan and some are hospitalized," Wang Ying, deputy chief phsician with Sixth Clinical Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, said.

For this Kazakh patient, receiving Chinese medical help gives him hope. He underwent successful heart bypass surgery in another hospital in Urumqi.

"The surgery could not be conducted in my hometown, so I came here. Now, it is the third day after the operation, and I feel very good," Alexander, patient from Kazakhstan, said.

He’s among many patients receiving treatment in hospitals in Urumqi.

Besides Western methods, hospitals in Urumqi also use traditional Chinese and Uyghur medicine. These options are available for patients from neighboring countries seeking the best treatment.

With a combination of medical approaches, dozens of hospitals across Xinjiang have treated over 15,000 people from central Asia, Russia, Turkey and Pakistan in the past three years. Officials here say China and neighboring countries are committed to expanding their efforts even further.

"The countries along the silk road conduct a health forum every year to increase mutual understanding. And medical staff from China would also go outside for exchange and cooperation," Peng Yong, deputy director of Xinjiang Health and Family Planning Commission, said.

For Wang Ying, cross-border medical cooperation also means spreading knowledge and skills overseas. In the University her hospital is attached to, there are over 300 international students annually, and their numbers are increasing. These students say after graduation, they plan to go back home, to serve the people in their own country - armed with the medical expertise acquired here in Xinjiang.

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