Press Advisories

20. 6. 2016 22:58

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka commences the Su-Chou summit of health ministers from the 16+1 countries

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka begins the second ever meeting of platform 16+1 health ministers, 20 June 2016.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka begins the second ever meeting of platform 16+1 health ministers, 20 June 2016.
On the last day of his working visit to China, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Chinese Vice-Premier Liou Jen-tung opened the second meeting so far of health ministers from the 16+1 platform. Cooperation in the healthcare sector is playing an important role in Czech-Chinese relations, and medical tourism in particular is actively developing in partnership with the spa sector.

Thanks to the Czech Republic’s initiative, the healthcare sector is one of the most active parts of the 16+1 platform, and this meeting of health ministers from the platform countries is the second so far. The Chinese side was represented at the start of the summit by Liou Jen-tung, Vice-Premier of the Chinese cabinet, whose area of responsibility includes besides healthcare also tourism, sport, culture, education and the media. The Czech Prime Minister already held bilateral discussions with the Chinese Vice-Premier yesterday afternoon, which focused on cooperation in the areas of sport, education and especially healthcare.

The summit of health ministers is the second such 16+1 summit so far. The first summit between Central and Eastern European countries and China was hosted by the Czech Republic last year and culminated with the adoption of the Prague Declaration. The Prague Declaration emphasises that health is a fundamental prerequisite for sustainable development as well as economic growth. It refers to sustainable development goals, which have been adopted by the international community at large, focused on boosting health systems in order to meet current challenges.

The Prague Declaration is now being followed up by the establishment of an Association of Hospitals and an Association of Public health, which are overseeing specific projects. In this phase, involving the Association of Hospitals, the Czech Republic is being represented by Motol University Hospital, Ostrava University Hospital and Hradec Králové University Hospital. And for the Association of Public Healthcare, the Czech Republic is being represented by the State Health Institute and the Institute of Health Information and Statistics.

During the summit attended by health ministers from 16+1 with the Czech Prime Minister present, the following agreements were signed:

  • An agreement between Motol University Hospital and Drum Tower University Hospital in Nanjing, enabling an exchange of students, scientific cooperation and cooperation in neurology, immunology and rehabilitation
  • an agreement between Motol University Hospital and Drum Tower University Hospital in Nanjing, the scientific platform Aequa Sciences and Cambridge University focused on Alzheimer research
  • an agreement between Hradec Králové University Hospital and Shuguang University Hospital in Shanghai, the Aequa Sciences scientific platform and Cambridge University focused on research of traditional Chinese medicine
  • An agreement between the mixed Czech-Chinese Mutual Cooperation Chamber and the Chamber of Commerce as the Economics Ministry
  • Establishment of the Association of Hospitals of 16+1 countries
  • Establishment of the Association of public health institutions of 16+1 countries

Cooperation between the Czech Republic and China focused on healthcare

Healthcare has traditionally been a pillar of cooperation between the Czech Republic and China. Besides cooperation at the level of hospitals and other public healthcare institutions, the centre of attention includes bilateral Czech-Chinese cooperation in the healthcare sector particularly in relation to medical tourism, spa and rehabilitation treatment and support for traditional Chinese medicine. Both sides also have been cooperating in the areas of public health, epidemiology and vaccinations, and they have been successfully developing cooperation as well in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical technology and research.

The Memorandum on Cooperation related to the establishment of a scientific and research workplace for traditional Chinese medicine at Hradec Králové University Hospital has also been fulfilled gradually.

In the Czech-Chinese Centre for research of traditional Chinese medicine, there are currently ongoing projects focused on studying the effectiveness of acupuncture for treatment of migraines and its effectiveness when added to traditional treatment of vomiting as a result of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients. The Centre’s establishment is the first step towards building the entire clinic, which is expected to become operational as of 2018.

Chinese children suffering from respiratory illnesses have been treated in the Czech Republic since 2015. Stays in the mountain spa town of Karlova Studánka are helping to significantly improve their health and are an excellent example of the benefits of cooperation in the healthcare sector. This year a medical stay has been prepared for about 80 children from Hebei province and Beijing.

Pharmaceutical regulatory authorities from both countries (the Czech State Institute for Drug Control and the China Food and Drug Administration) have been cooperating very successfully. 

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