2013 Medical Science Conference of the Chinese Medical Association

Wilson_edited-1 (26.01.13) I arrived in Beijing in the early hours of the morning today, Saturday, January 26. Tomorrow I will participate in the 2013 Medical Science Conference of the Chinese Medical Association (CMA).

The opening session includes a keynote speech by Dr. CHEN Zhu, President of the CMA and Minister of Health for China. Dr. Zhu will give a report on medical system reform in China.

My speech to the conference will provide a global perspective on healthcare systems around the world, including health system reform enacted in the USA in 2010. I will also describe three major areas of work for the World Medical Association (WMA): the moral imperative of ethics in medicine, the challenge of noncommunicable disease and the threat of climate change. Readers of this blog will recognize that these three issues have been the theme of my presentations around the world on behalf of the WMA.

Dr. CAO Xuetao, President of the Chinese Academy of Science will talk about the direction and integration of medical science development in China. This will be followed by a description of China's national plan on clinical medicine development by an official from the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Subjects on the agenda for afternoon sessions include medical professionalism, chronic disease prevention and treatment, medical system reform and a seminar on academic work.

The CMA is a non-profit national academic organization of physicians. It has a focus on the development of medical science and technology and is a linkage between the government and the medical professionals. Its mission is:

  • Uniting medical professionals
  • Disseminating medical knowledge
  • Upholding medical ethics
  • Promoting social justice

CMA, a member of the WMA, was established in 1915 and now has 85 specialty societies and over 500,000 members in China. The Association edits and publishes 125 medical and popular science journals and over 100 audio-visual products.

It should not be news that China, like countries elsewhere, is facing the challenges of seeking to implement health system reform. In 2009 the Chinese government promulgated a health system reform plan to affect policies and strategies across a number of areas. Reading these is a reminder that regardless of country of origin  governments and members of the medical profession face remarkably similar challenges. These are inherent in ensuring a health system structure that provides an environment that promotes quality care for all. The five key strategies announced by the Chinese government are:

  1. Accelerate the construction of the basic medical insurance system
  2. Establish a national essential drug system
  3. Improve the grassroots level medical and health care service system
  4. Steadily promote universal access to basic public health services
  5. Carry out reforms of the management systems for public hospitals

A description of these five strategies can be found on the CMA web site at the following URL:

Speaking of arriving in Beijing today in the early hours, I realize traveling long distances around the world this year for the WMA has changed my thinking about what is long. For instance I considered the trip from my home in Winter Park, Florida, USA to Beijing to be not quite so long since I only flew two segments (two different planes). This in spite of the fact that door to door, the travel time was 21 hours.

WMA President Cecil. B. Wilson, MD travels around the world talking about the WMA's work representing the millions of physicians worldwide. Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavors to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health related human rights for all people. This blog will chronicle these travels and important issues.