Year Three students from the Department of Public Health at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University went on a three day field trip to Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao.

The visit was meant to facilitate students’ understanding of regional approaches to primary healthcare, which refers to the accessibility of healthcare provision within communities, and of health education programs conducted at a local level.

At the Yijing Community Health Center in Shenzhen, XJTLU students and faculty had a guided visit of the premises followed by a meeting with the entire team of workers and one volunteer.

“We observed that community participation in healthcare is actively encouraged in Shenzhen,” said student Ariana Matias. “People volunteer and are given incentives to help each other.”

“I was impressed by the new healthcare reform in Shenzhen,” said student Yifan Jin (pictured above), who explained how it works:

“Money collected from health insurance payments is given to a corporation of hospitals and community centres that use it for medical expenses, and surplus funds are given to health workers as bonuses. This model really helps the community, and encourages health workers to focus more on prevention than treatment,” said Yifan.

In Hong Kong, students visited the Museum of Medical Sciences, familiarising themselves with the local history of public health over more than a century, and with the relatively recent handling of the SARS outbreak in southern China.

They also visited the School of Public Health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where they met faculty members Dr Jean Kim, Dr Samuel Wong, and Dr William Goggins, and were given the opportunity to attend a masters-level class.

“It was very useful as an undergraduate who is deciding on future directions to experience what it would be like to take a taught masters programme,” said student Shizhen He (pictured above).

In Macao, students visited the Fai Chi Kei Health Centre, which exposed students to another approach toward primary healthcare and health education at the community level.

They also visited the Sheng Kung Hui Taipa Youth and Family Center, which has programs targeted to improve psychological and physical wellbeing for young people and families.

“Macao is said to have one of the best primary healthcare systems in the world, and from our visit that was evident,” said student Ariana Matias (pictured above).

Dr Marius Wamsiedel from the Department of Public Health at XJTLU, who accompanied the students on the trip, commented on some of the valuable things they experienced:

“The presentations given by healthcare professionals were excellent, and provided some really useful insights into innovative work being performed,” he said.

“The School of Public Health at the Chinese University of Hong Kong is one of the most prestigious institutions on the continent, so it was really a privilege to visit there,” he added.

Dr Bo Wu and Dr Don Prisno from the Department of Public Health at XJTLU also accompanied the students on the three day trip.

The Department of Public Health offers the undergraduate degree programme BSc Public Health with supervision from practitioners and experts in their fields, as well as PhD study options.

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