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Suzhou Joint Communique on The Second Health Ministers Meeting between China and CEEC

Updated: 2016-06-21

1.On June 20, 2016, ministers in charge of health affairs or the  representatives of People’s Republic of China, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonian, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia attended the Second Health Ministers Meeting between China and CEEC held in Suzhou. Vice Premier Mdm. Liu Yandong of the State Council of People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Czech Republic, WHO and EU representatives were present at the meeting. This meeting takes the theme of “Deepening pragmatic health cooperation, promoting sustainable health development”.


2. The meeting agrees that this meeting will effectively implement  The Suzhou Guidelines for Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries and The Prague Declaration of Health Cooperation and Development between China and Central and Eastern European Countries, further consolidate the foundation for cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries(hereinafter referred to as “CEECs”) in the health sector, expand areas of cooperation for all related countries in areas of medical institutions, medical education and healthcare industry, facilitate people-to-people exchanges between China and CEECs, and enhance all-dimensional, pragmatic cooperation between China and Europe.


3. The meeting emphasizes that The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development passed in September 2015 by the UN General Assembly has set ambitious goals for global health development in the new era. Under this framework, China and CEECs will actively advocate healthy ways of life, and promote people's wellbeing in all age groups. China has incorporated Healthy China strategy into its 13th Five-year Plan of National Economic and Social Development, and countries in Europe have also developed their own plans for health development based on EU 2020 Strategy and other social development guidelines. By leveraging such an opportunity, China and CEECs will contribute to the goal of sustainable development in a comprehensive manner by 2030.


4.The meeting points out the far-reaching impact of globalization on human health. Against the backdrop of increasingly rapid flow of personnel, materials and information, as well as national borders getting more blurred, the negative health impacts are spreading quicker than before, and health is becoming an issue with global nature. SARS, bird flu, Ebola, MERS, among many other new and recurrent diseases keep occurring, so that the whole international community has come to realize the grave fact of “disease knows no border”. These kind of diseases, together with environmental, energy and climate issues are becoming important non-traditional security threats. At the same time, Ministers also realize that national health is the driver for high productivity, so investment in health is in itself investment in social and economic development. Confronted with global and regional health challenges, no country can stand alone. It is urgently needed for all countries to enhance exchanges and cooperation, and make concerted efforts to safeguard global health security and people's right to health.


5.Given this background, the meeting universally agrees to establish a "China-CEEC Health Collaboration Promotion Association", under the framework of "16+1 cooperation mechanism", with the aim to maintain good momentum in health collaboration between China and CEECs, share good experiences in health development, promote the building of 16+1 health cooperation platform, and improve the health exchange and cooperation level between China and CEECs. An open platform of cooperation, the association welcomes the participation of health authorities, social groups, and pharmaceutical and medical companies, with a view to develop and further expand functions and roles of the association.


6.The meeting agrees that directly connection should be built between medical institutions in China and CEECs. Industry associations and other entities should play the role of bridge to foster academic, technical and personnel exchanges between medical institutions through multiple layers, diversified forms and dimensions. Efforts should also be made to promote cooperation between China and CEECs in hospital management, academic projects and medical tourism, and support the establishment of "China-CEEC Hospital Collaboration Alliance" initiated by hospitals in China and CEECs.


7.The meeting reiterates that even though China and CEECs have different disease spectrum and disease burdens, they both face the common threats of population aging, chronic, emerging and recurrent infectious diseases. Ministers suggest that China and CEECs should strengthen international cooperation in the domain of public health, support the building of "China-CEEC Public Health Institutions Collaboration Mechanism", so as to create a healthy environment for their own countries and region, maintain social stability, safeguard national security and promote population health.


8.The meeting stresses that both China and CEECs are in the midst of rapid economic and social transformation, and their health systems are also undergoing reforms in diverse forms and stages. All countries are facing the same important task to build an efficient, equal and high-quality health system to meet peoples’ increasing medical needs. Ministers suggest that efforts should be made to foster exchanges between young professionals in China and CEECs. Health policy researchers are encouraged to apply an innovative, coordinated and development perspective to strengthen cooperation in such areas as health system reforms, towards the goal of exploring sustainable development paths for health systems in the future.


9.The meeting notes that traditional Chinese medicine(hereinafter referred to as “TCM”) is not only treasure of the Chinese culture, but also emissary for exchanges between the Chinese people and people of other nations. In recent years, given the heightened interest in TCM, in addition to existing people-to-people exchanges on TCM, some CEECs have explored various means to legalize TCM in their national health systems. Ministers support the efforts already made by Czech Republic, Hungary, Montenegro, Macedonia and other CEECs in respect to traditional medicines. China expresses readiness to offer necessary technical and personnel support to TCM development in CEECs.


10. The meeting notes that healthcare industry has become one of the driving force for social and economic development. Ministers encourage business leaders in China and CEECs to further discuss current status and development opportunities in market access, investment and financing, as well as technology cooperation, with the aim to facilitate pharmaceutical and healthcare trade, industry cooperation, provide more high-quality, competitively-priced and therapeutically effective products for people in China and CEECs, so as to raise people’s health levels.


11. The meeting reiterates that China and CEECs will continue to support WHO to play an important role in global health governance and in its reform process. China and CEECs will enhance communication and coordination in international organizations, and support their pharmaceutical and healthcare exchanges and cooperation under the framework of China-EU partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization.


12. During the meeting, Ministers and participants visited co-located exhibitions, and medical institutions and facilities in Suzhou. Multiple health cooperation agreements were signed between China and its CEE partners including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, and Slovenia.


13. Participants commended and appreciated the tremendous efforts made by the Chinese government to host the meeting. They believe that the health collaboration launched under the China-CEEC cooperation framework bears significant meaning. Ministers welcome and support Hungary in hosting the Third Health Ministers Meeting between China and CEEC in Budapest, 2017.


Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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