China plans medical exchange league with Arab states

China and several Arab countries agreed to exchange technical and professional resources in a unique pact for the Middle Kingdom where health agencies and hospital firms are not aggressive players in overseas expansion or medical tourism recruitment. A Sept. 11 statement from the State Council, China's cabinet, said that "a league for cooperation in healthcare between China and Arab states will be established" and headquartered in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region. The membership by country or institution was not specified, but Tian Fengnian, deputy director of Ningxia's health and family planning commission, said it would include a wide range of medical institutions from both China and Arab nations. "Currently, more than 10 hospitals from Arab nations and more than 20 top Chinese hospitals have become founding members of the league," he said, adding the league would be established next year, and more hospitals are expected to join. Many Gulf State citizens seek care in Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore--where costs and facilities are seen as more accessible. Release