Kunshan Forum Explores Non-Communicable Diseases and China’s Health System Reform

Published May 29, 2015 under Research News

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The Kunshan Forum took place at Duke Kunshan University

Last week, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) hosted the inaugural Kunshan Forum, where scientists, professionals, policymakers and other stakeholders gathered to explore the interaction between the growing rates of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in China and the reform of China’s health system. The event was organized by faculty from DKU and the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI).

NCDs such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and mental health problems are becoming increasingly prevalent in China and many other low- and middle-income countries. This change in disease patterns—from communicable to non-communicable diseases—has led to new health care challenges that China must be prepared to address. Forum speakers and participants investigated the impact of this transition on China’s health system reform in the areas of primary care, hospitals and long-term care.

The goal of the conference was to provide a platform for leaders from academia, government and industry to share leading research and to encourage dialogue on policy issues concerning health and health care. DKU welcomed approximately 200 participants, hailing from China, Taiwan, the United States, Spain, New Zealand and South Korea. 

International Lineup of Speakers from Academia, Business and Beyond

Many prominent scholars and leaders were invited to the forum, including 16 keynote speakers and more than 40 presenters to share their lasts research findings and ideas on NCDs and health system reform.

Among the speakers were five DGHI faculty or affiliate faculty members: Shenglan Tang, Bei Wu, Lijing Yan, Frank Sloan and Jeffrey Moe. Other speakers included:

  • Yanfeng Ge, director of general development at the Research Center of the State Council
  • Tieru Han, former World Health Organization deputy regional director of the Western Pacific Region
  • Enis Baris, practice manager, health, nutrition and population, at the World Bank Group
  • Claudia Suessmuth-Dyckerhoff, senior partner/director at McKinsey & Company
  • Qingyue Meng, dean of public health at Peking University

Agenda Packed with Research and Discussion on Diverse Topics

The conference covered a wide range of topics, including cognitive function among the elderly, obesity and mental health, pharmaceutical innovation, public hospital reform and health care utilization. 

The conference also included a workshop, “Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Environmental Health and Sustainability,” sponsored by Healthy-Polis, an international consortium for urban environmental health and sustainability. 

Healthy Polis, an initiative of DGHI, Public Health England (PHE) and the Australian National University (ANU), helps coordinate the activities of international research groups working in environmental health and sustainable development, especially climate change, weather extremes and air pollution. The consortium is co-chaired by DGHI and DKU faculty member Keith Dear.

The conference covered a wide range of topics, including cognitive function among the elderly, obesity and mental health, pharmaceutical innovation, public hospital reform and health care utilization.