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HK-Shenzhen pulls off a first under medical connect

Updated: May 21, 2021 By Chai Hua HK EDITION Print
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Hong Kong surgeon Kenneth M.C. Cheung (third from right) performs surgery on May 3, using a magnetically controlled growing titanium rod. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Pilot program

Cheung has been vigorously pitching the HKU-SZH - the only pilot hospital to implement the new connect policy so far - to include titanium rods in the first batch of medical equipment to cross the border. "Last year, as soon as I heard of the policy, I approached the Shenzhen hospital immediately," he recalled.

HKU-SZH, built and funded by the Shenzhen municipal people's government, is a public hospital in Shenzhen's Futian district and one of the University of Hong Kong's two teaching hospitals. When it opened in 2012, it was described as a key part of the overhaul of China's healthcare system.

In Hong Kong, an average of five to 10 similar operations are performed annually, but at least 10,000 children may need the equipment on the mainland.

"Our doctors will get more experience, along with more surgeries, so it's a boon for training," said Cheung. "As an academic center, we always hope to do research. The more cases, the richer the research results will be," said Cheung, who heads the orthopedics and traumatology unit at the University of Hong Kong.

Lo Chung-mau, chief executive of HKU-SZH, said Hong Kong could become a medical research hub, attracting cutting-edge biomedicine research projects from all over the world. "A paramount benefit for Hong Kong is to jointly research and develop new medical products."

For instance, a platform in a cross-border pilot zone could be set up to match new biomedicine technology developed by Hong Kong researchers with mainland institutions, and conduct clinical testing in the entire Greater Bay Area.

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