University of the Ryukyus Hospital to cooperate with Chinese hospital in medical exchange and tourism

March 20, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

On March 19, in a briefing session of the 2011 fiscal year held at the Okinawa Industry Support Center in Naha the Bankoku-Iryo-Shinryo Council reported that the University of the Ryukyus Hospital has arranged to conclude an agreement with the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, the biggest national hospital in China. The agreement is designed to promote exchange of technology and human resources. The council aims to boost medical exchange between the two nations and create medical tours through cooperation between the public and private sectors.

According to the council, there are many officials in China who are interested in Okinawa because of the shortage of rehabilitation doctors and the limited medical technology in China. It is expected that the combination of medical tours for rehabilitation and sports camps taking advantage of the Okinawan climate have potential to succeed.

The China-Japan Friendship Hospital operates since 1984 thanks to support from official development assistance from the Japanese government. It has 1500 beds, and receives two million outpatient visits per year. The hospital has exchanges with over 30 top universities in the world including Harvard University.

In January, director of the University Hospital Sadayuki Murayama visited the China-Japan Friendship Hospital to coordinate matters, and executive officers from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital will be invited to Okinawa in May. The specific content of the exchange has not yet been decided upon, but they will continue to work on the agreement and hope to conclude it by the end of the year.

Morijiro Ishihara, the network manager of the council, said, “International medical exchanges will be main focus at the first stage, and as we deepen the relationship, I hope that private exchanges such as medical tourism also develop.”

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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