World orthopaedic surgeons vow to cooperate to provide cost-effective medical services
World orthopaedic surgeons vow to cooperate to provide cost-effective medical services (Beijing December 5 Kazinform)
Acclaimed orthopaedic surgeons and experts attending a major conference in Beijing have agreed to build up a platform for international cooperation aiming at jointly coping with medical and social challenges.
According to Xinhua, at the Sixth International Congress of the Chinese Orthopaedic Association (COA) that concluded on Sunday, presidents of more than 80 national and international orthopaedic societies signed a declaration which seeks a model for both developing and developed countries to help reduce medical costs in the aftermath of the global financial crisis.
With an aging global population, rapidly rising medical costs have become a heavy financial burden for governments worldwide. Medical insurance cost control has become a hot topic around the world.
Bone and joint diseases, infections due to traffic accident traumas and other diseases causing high disability rates have affected millions of people worldwide.
“One of the objectives of the COA international conference is to provide a platform for medical experts around the world to discuss not only clinical techniques but also medical and social problems,” said Professor Wang Yan, chairman of the COA.
To fully leverage existing professional knowledge and resources, presidents of orthopaedic organizations attending the conference adopted and released the Beijing Declaration which calls for a platform to enhance global and national collaboration and partnerships among the professions, industries and related patient organizations and disciplines.
The declaration also stresses maximizing Internet-based learning and encouraging international exchanges.
“Worldwide, I have one lament, that we’ve spent so much money on medical research, but very little on orthopaedics. Most governments are more anxious to fund cancer or infectious diseases,” said Professor Michael Huggness, president of the North American Spine Society.
“We think we’re a bit handicapped by not having the money to pursue the research. As we get more sophisticated in our treatment, the price does go up. My expectation is that in another five to 10 years, we’ll begin to apply some molecular techniques to assist us in healing. Maybe the price will come down when our knowledge base increases. But I think we’ll just have to wait for a bit more research and a bit more basic science.”
“We definitely will… look into this issue of how we can have a suitably assigned budget from the government for orthopaedic care,” said Professor K.M. Chan, from the Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong.
“At the same time, we use evidence-based medicine to contain the medical cost in orthopaedics with very stringent monitors from the professions. That involves good-practice models, quality insurance and patient safety. With all these, we expect that the profession will be heading forward to join hands with the government to contain the cost.”
More than 15,000 surgeons, researchers and business representatives from China and abroad are attending the four-day annual conference to share the latest theories and techniques for curing musculoskeletal diseases as well as related social topics.
Founded in 1980, the COA now has more than 30,000 registered members and is the largest sub-society of doctors under the Chinese Medical Association. The conference is the largest medical academic event in China.