A recently released report “2015 Situation of Nutrition and Chronic Diseases of Chinese Residents,” indicates the incidence and mortality of chronic diseases continue to increase and have become the main causes of death in China with 79.4% of total mortality due to chronic diseases. According to statistics, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and respiratory disease have become the top four of major threats to China’s public health.
The report stated that the relative low quality of treatment and lack of standardized clinical training in China are a contributing reason for the increased incidence and mortality rate of chronic diseases. Because of the need for long-term treatment, high incidence of complication, high rate of deformity, and high mortality, China needs advanced research, better databases, improved standardized clinical practice and medical training in order to better control the rate of incidence and mortality of chronic diseases.
The report provides a current overview on key chronic diseases:
- Hypertension: incidence rate increased to 25.2%.
- Diabetes: Chinese are facing an incidence rate of 9.7%. In China, about 70% diabetics do not get diagnosed, and among those who are diagnosed only 25% receive treatment. For those receiving treatments, only 40% have conditions that are arrested and reversed.
- Cancer and Tumor: incidence of cancer is up to 235 out of 100,000 people. Lung and breast cancer are the leading cancer types. The mortality of cancer is 144.3 out of 100,000 people with the top five cancers: lung, liver, stomach, esophagus, and colorectal.
- Chronic Respiratory Disease: include COPD, Asthma, Pulmonary hypertension and Sleep-disorder breathing. With the increased mortality of 68 out of 100,000 people. The incidence rate of COPD among those older than 40 years old is 9.9%.
In order to address this, China needs to keep up with advanced practice in Western medicine. The National Health and Family Planning Committee (NHFPC) encourages enhanced cooperation and exchange of Chinese and international medicine societies in the areas of academic research, college training, and technical expertise. Herein lies many opportunities for US heath care associations to explore deeper levels of collaboration with their Chinese counterparts for the improvement of public health globally.
MCI China suggests that US medical associations with an interest in China should observe the following:
- Closely monitor and be sensitive to Chinese government policies and reforms because they shape and sway market development. The 12th Five-Year Plan puts healthcare reform in the spotlight, and has seen successes and challenges. The 13th Five-Plan that will be released in 2016 is expected to deepen the healthcare reform.
- Due to the vastly different institutional, environment and cultural factors between China and USA, it is important to invest in market insight to fully understand Chinese needs so that your association can be effective in identifying the unique selling point of your offerings. Know that each sub-specialty will have its own unique situation and factors, therefore the maturity and/or need doesn’t equal the same for another.
- Understand the role of industry support and compliance requirements to build a strong stakeholder approach.
It is vital that US associations seek to collaborate with their Chinese counterparts; consider the use of local market development personnel who can help to investigate and navigate the complexities in relationships between various Chinese associations, and key opinion leaders in the same field.