Ceremony 920
Professor KK Cheng, from the University of Birmingham - third from left - joins partners to launch the Guangzhou-Birmingham General Practitioners (Family Doctors) Initiative.

Health experts from the University of Birmingham are working with policymakers and doctors to improve healthcare for millions of people in southern China.

The University has joined Guangzhou Municipal Health Commission and the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University to jointly launch the Guangzhou-Birmingham General Practitioners (Family Doctors) Initiative.

The three-year project aims to provide training for general practitioners (GPs) to improve the service capacity of community health centres in Guangzhou and promote healthcare quality in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Personalised skills retraining for key general practitioners in Guangzhou will help GPs provide high-quality healthcare.

The project will also explore how commercial health insurance, healthcare management and primary care services can work more effectively together.

Launched recently at the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, the project is already delivering advanced training to GPs – many of whom have received training through the Guangzhou-Birmingham health collaboration.

Professor KK Cheng, Director of the Institute of Applied Health Research at the University of Birmingham, commented: “We are proud that the University of Birmingham is working with partners in Guangzhou to help improve primary healthcare in China. Our work is changing the lives of millions of people.

“Since the new round of medical reform, healthcare work in Guangzhou has focused on ‘strong grassroots’. Last year, there were 3,604 general practitioners working in the city’s community health centres - a year-on-year increase of 7.3% delivering more than 50 million outpatient clinics.

“Training GPs to work within the primary care system can help China to deal with increasing pressures on its healthcare system. We are helping to set up a pipeline of well-trained GPs who will offer comprehensive care for families in communities across the country.”

Guangzhou health providers and the University of Birmingham have cooperated for many years in training of talents in community health centres - bringing doctors to the UK for training and establishing six China-UK Collaborating Centre for General Practice Training in 2015.

The new joint project has been established in partnership with First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Doctor’s Group of Company (Hong Kong), Guangzhou First People’s Hospital, Guangzhou Women and Children Medical Center, community health centres in Guangzhou.

Professor Jon Frampton, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of the University’s China Institute, said: “The University of Birmingham has a special partnership with the city of Guangzhou - not just with health partners, but also with the Guangzhou Municipal Government.

“Our joint centres are a sustainable and long-term means for us to help improve public health and showcase ways of working that could be applied across China. This new project will boost healthcare quality across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.”

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers and teachers and more than 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The history of collaboration between China and the University of Birmingham dates back almost to the foundation of the University in 1901. The China Institute was created to reflect the University’s extensive academic activities its colleagues undertake in China.