Study Tour: Public Health International Program China
Some of our undergraduate students recently participated in our Study Abroad program to China and they shared some of their experiences throughout the trip. If you’d like to know more about our Study Abroad opportunities please visit the Global Learning site. You might be interested in the next one to Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Today marked the group’s first day at Shandong University. We received a lecture from Professor Sun Qian on the transition in China’s healthcare system and were kindly given a textbook on the subject. We had a lovely lunch in the Shandong University cafeteria with our buddies and then finished the day with a lecture from Adriana on Australia’s health care system and a fun group activity.”
Day 2, 12th July – Michelle
“Day 2 at Shandong University featured lectures on big data and climate change, and an impromptu but very informative lecture on systems epidemiology. Once again we were treated to a wonderful lunch with our buddies in the dining hall and then spent a couple of hours working in our presentation groups. The weather here is a little kinder today but rain is approaching.”
Day 3, 13th July – Alexandra
“Today’s lectures focused on occupational injury prevention and HIV/AIDS in China, after which we took a break for lunch and had a walk around campus. We were able to find a garden of herbs and plants commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. Our Buddies shared stories of their own experiences of traditional medicine and explained the medicinal applications of some plants. We finished the day working on our group presentations and are planning on meeting up later in the evening for hotpot and a game of Pool!”
“Today we visited the Jinan Centre for Disease Control, where we listened to three lectures about Big Data, vaccinations and norovirus, and viewed a number of laboratories. The group then visited a children’s community vaccination clinic where we learnt about the vaccination schedule and electronic monitoring system used in China. The last stop was the Shandong Provincial Hospital where we met with members of the Department of Public Health for a question and answer session, and viewed the paediatric outpatient department. A long but very enlightening day!”
Day 5, 15th July – Loretta
“Today we visited a famous traditional Chinese medicine hospital, a rural hospital and Pingyin people’s hospital in the country at least 2 hours away from Jinan city center. There was an obvious difference in the outlook of both hospitals in size, staffing, location and the pharmaceutical structure.
The rural hospital was tucked in between an array of a variety of shops – blink and you could miss it. It was also very small with four beds. Only three nurses were working today and that was just the standard staffing. The pharmacy was also small; however, although both Eastern and Chinese medicines were available Chinese medicine was only available as pills or pharmaceutically processed liquids. Drips and antibiotics are high restricted due to infection and drugs resistance issues. The hospital is set up to be the first point of care for remote populations and deals with minor health issues such as the common cold, coughs and also administers vaccinations. Medication in this rural hospital generally free and health education is also supplied via a TV screen.
Pinyin hospital was bigger – much bigger. It houses up to 700 beds, at least 900 staff and provides health services to at least 250,000 people. The hospital staff often work 20 hours a day to keep up with patient intake numbers which can potentially reach 26, 000 a day. There is a huge pharmacy within the Pinyin hospital for standard Eastern medicine and Chinese medicine which is available as herbs or pills.
The traditional Chinese medicine hospital provides a vast range of health services to people and has a distinct breast and cervical cancer sector. Around 23% of the services offered include Chinese medicines and the hospital also offers rehabilitation, massages and acupuncture. People over the age of 65 get free services; children get free dental care and free in-home social services are available for people with chronic issues or experience severe morbidity. The traditional Chinese medicine hospital also runs health promotion and health education programs surrounding chronic diseases such as diabetes and determinants of health such as high sodium intake and physical activity.
Before heading back to retire for the day we stopped for banquet style lunch and indulged in some traditional Chinese delicacies including Chicken, Fish, steamed buns, fried lotus balls, stewed tofu and donkey gel soup.”
Day 6, 16th July – Ali
“Today started with a brisk walk up Jinan’s Thousand Buddha Mountain. As one of the cooler and sunnier mornings since our time here, we were able to enjoy the scenic view of the city once we reached the top. It was a stunning experience. Fresh air and the atmosphere of Buddha’s legacy were profound on the cable car ride down to the foothills. After a short visit of Shandong University’s main campus and Daming Lake, our buddies guided us through the busy street markets of Jinan’s city centre. Karaoke is on tonight!”
Day 8, 18th July – Tannith
“Jinan has been such a wonderful place to travel to and study, there is always something new to experience. From climbing the Thousand Buddha Mountain by day, to KTV (kareoke) by night. I have really enjoyed learning more about the culture here and realising that the once strange things, now make sense. Many of us are currently putting the finishing touches on our presentations, that we are due to give tomorrow, a subtle reminder we are still students whom happen to be oveseas!”
Day 9, 19th July – Katie
“Today was our last day in Jinan, and also the day of our presentations comparing and contrasting aspects of China and Australia’s healthcare systems. We were awarded certificates and later had a farewell party with our buddies. It was a fun, memorable night full of laughter and tears – celebrating friendships to last a lifetime!”
“6am pick up and we were off to catch a bullet train to Beijing! The train took us through industrial and rural China, where we saw the beautiful landscapes with thriving farmland. It was a nice contrast to see from the bustling town of Jinan where we had spent the last week.
Wet, is probably the best word to describe today. It did not stop raining, but it makes for an interesting story. Once we settled in at the hotel and dried off we made our way to the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Here we received an informative talk about what they do that the centre and the public health system of China.
I look forward to being able to explore the historic city of Beijing over the next few days.”
“Today we visited Tiananmen Square where the group was given a tour through the square with accounts of the history and cultural significance being told. The tour continued into the Forbidden City with the tour guide telling extraordinary tales of the City and the cultural role it played in the development of the “New China”. Finally, the tour concluded with a visit to the Pearl Markets. The marketplace was completely different to the more relaxing shopping experience of Jinan, but was nevertheless a fulfilling experience with some bargains to be had after diligent haggling. After hours of walking and shopping a relaxing evening was in order.”
Day 12, 22nd July – Peter
“Today we visited the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. It took around 2 hours to reach the wall from our hotel which provided great views of the Beijing CBD along the way. Only a few members of the group were brave enough to venture to station 20 – the furthest and highest point of the section – on such a humid and hot day. It was an enjoyable experience taking in the scenery for everyone and one that got ticked off many lists.”