A successful trade mission in China

November 17, 2016
Check out how Australia and China are working together to better healthcare.


Right now, China has a significant need for better healthcare delivery systems that are supported by the latest solutions in health technology. Queensland has become a hub for innovative healthcare technology and as such can offer China’s large and increasingly ageing population new products and services to best manage their care needs.

This past October, Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick led a delegation of Queensland healthcare companies and medical research institutes on a trade mission to China. They promoted Queensland’s expertise as a hub for investment-ready health innovations. Tunstall Healthcare joined the delegation in China, following our successful collaboration with Revlis in establishing connected care and connected health services in the region.

To learn more about the significance of this mission, we sat down with Managing Director of Tunstall Healthcare, Lyn Davies. Let’s see what she has to say.

Q: Hi Lyn, thanks for joining us! Let’s jump right in, what was the purpose of the trade mission?

A: It was a great opportunity to be involved in a mission where the focus was on forming collaborations with different sister cities. We can swap tips on best practices regarding aged care and health-related issues that the Queensland government has been addressing for many years. We’re excited to be able to share information with decision makers in China who are trying to tackle large scale difficulties they’re facing in managing health costs.

We’re excited to be able to share information with decision makers in China.

They have the added demographics of a rapidly growing ageing population and changes in familial structure where the one child policy has been relaxed into a second child policy which will affect hospitals in maternity care. There are some huge growing issues in China where the progress in the Queensland health system can help. Specifically, we’re looking at digital health, digital hospitals and working across different sectors in the health market for indigenous and rural health.

It was interesting to see that the same issues we face as a country (like looking after people remotely and looking after people in an ageing population) are the same they face, only on a massive scale, of course. They do have fantastic health services in place, but they don’t have as much around health in the home. Right now, everything is done in the hospital.

Overall, the trade mission to China was an important step towards closer collaboration between innovative healthcare providers in Queensland and partner organisations in China.

Bringing healthcare innovation to China. Bringing healthcare innovation to China.

Q: Specifically, what was achieved for Tunstall during the mission?

A: We were warmly welcomed by our hosts, and we were able to exchange ideas and establish networks for collaboration in the future. Good partnerships were formed and high level agreements were put in place – cities are going to work together to share information. Decision makers are going to come to Queensland and see first-hand the work that has been done in healthcare.

The opportunity isn’t just about finances, it’s also about making use of the free trade agreement and put actions in place that are real between Australia and China in this particular market. It gave me hope that the complexities of working with another complex nation like China can be overcome when there is such a strong desire to make the difference that’s needed. There’s a real genuine desire from the highest levels to come together and learn.

Q: Do you have any other highlights from the mission?

There’s not just talk, there’s actual action going on.

A: I’ve had the opportunity to visit China on several occasions representing Tunstall, and I am always extremely humbled by the warmth and generosity with which I’ve been received. I find the cultural nuances and differences fascinating, but I’m always reminded of how similar we are underneath it all. We want the best for our ageing family, and other vulnerable members of our community.

The friendships were really genuine – there was immediate trust. It seems now there’s not just talk, there’s actual action going on.

Q: What future do you envision for connected care and connected health in China?

A:  Certainly China, and the wider Asia-Pacific region, represent a huge market for connected care and connected health. Tackling the challenge of such a large ageing population will require innovative solutions that employ the very best in health technology. We don’t believe that we can go in and set up for ourselves, we must work with local providers. We don’t believe for one minute that we understand the complexity of working with another country where we have no knowledge of protocols and standards and conditions by which the government expects you to operate. We are very respectful of that. We can take baby steps and make sure everything is done right and accordingly to customs and in such a way that the market embraces it.

Thanks for your time Lyn! It sounds like we have a lot to look forward to in the future. If you’re interested in hearing more about these efforts, just get in contact with us here at Tunstall for more information!

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