The Alibaba Foundation hosted the Inaugural Xin Philanthropy Conference in Hangzhou, China on July 9th and 10th. The conference brought together local and international philanthropists and experts. Conference attendees generated ideas on how to improve the philanthropy infrastructure in China. These philanthropists and experts also discussed how to leverage the potential of more than 1.3 million Chinese millionaires. Chang Liu, ACCESS Health Managing Director of Mainland China, attended the conference and joined the Healthcare panel discussion.
Keynote Speakers Addressed the Importance of Philanthropy in China
During the morning session, the executive chairman of the Alibaba Foundation, Jack Ma, presented the opening speech. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations presented a keynote speech where he emphasized the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Additionally, there were keynotes speeches from Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and Salman Khan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Khan Academy. Former NBA star, Yao Ming, founder of the Yao Ming Foundation, and Jet Li, founder of the One Foundation, conducted a panel discussion about their philanthropy work. Facebook Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg and founder of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, also made cameo appearances via video.
Although the number of Chinese millionaires is growing, the charitable giving and philanthropy work of these millionaires is far from enough. According to Credit Suisse, China will be listed as one of the top ten countries for millionaires in USD by 2020. This is close to Germany. However, a May 2016 report by the United Nations Development Program found that total charitable giving in China is just four percent of American or European levels. The Xin Philanthropy Conference helps raise awareness of giving back to society and developing a better philanthropy infrastructure that supports effective giving in China.
The afternoon included breakout panels revolving around the five critical issues of education, disaster relief, environmental protection, healthcare, and philanthropy in the internet area.
During the healthcare session, Zhiyu Peng, vice president of BGI, discussed the importance of precision medication. Precision medication is an emerging approach for disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual health status. BGI was founded in 1999 as a research organization. Over the years, BGI has grown into a multinational genomics company with significant global operations and a wide variety of next generation sequencing services. Dr. Peng and his team hope to promote healthy and matching bone marrow transplants, particularly in places lacking resources. They also hope to find the causes of rare genetic diseases that will prevent young women from being diagnosed with cervical cancer through early genetic detection and screenings.
Panel Discussion on How to Use Medical Innovation to Tackle Philanthropy Problems
In the panel on how to use medical innovation to tackle philanthropy problems, two guest speakers, Jingfen Liu and Shoujun Li, both surgeons and pediatricians in the cardiovascular field, discussed the high risk of congenital heart disease for children and how technology can be used in the medical field. Every seven or eight children out of one thousand may have congenital heart disease. Every year, there are more than one hundred twenty thousand children in need of congenital heart disease surgery. However, sixty percent of the children cannot afford the fees. The Alibaba Foundation has supported more children to get the surgery for congenital heart disease.
The Shanghai Congenital Heart Disease Hospital for Children, Dr. Liu’s hospital, has implemented three dimensional printing machines. Three dimensional printing machines helps educate medical students, explain diseases to patients, and simulate surgeries before the real one. Since medical information is quite isolated in every hospital, Dr. Li and his team at China Academy of Medical Sciences Fu Wai Cardiovascular Diseases Hospital are currently working on creating a database like STS National Database in the US. This type of database allows them to collect more information about Cardiovascular Heart Disease and other diseases that will enhance greater cooperation between hospitals in China.
Additional guest speakers included Peggy Liu, president of Joint US China Collaboration on Clean Energy, Tiantian Li, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Ding Xiang Yuan, a nonprofit medial academic online forum, Youling Qiao, professor of epidemiology at China Medical Sciences Tumor Hospital, Wei Li, Chief Executive Officer of Aucma Company, Limited, and Dong Liu, senior program officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They all made speeches revolving around how technology innovation helps to solve healthcare problems.
Role of ACCESS Health in Creating Innovation in Healthcare
Chang Liu, ACCESS Health Managing Director of Mainland China, participated in the healthcare panel. He shared the value of ACCESS Health that everyone is equal in front of diseases, and everyone deserves high quality and affordable healthcare services. Chang Liu stated that there are currently two worldwide trends. One is that almost every country and area is making major changes to their healthcare policies. The other is that the private sector is paying more and more attention and investing billions of dollars in the healthcare field. There is a much higher demand for healthcare services than there is a supply of these services and ACCESS Health focuses on how to use existing medical resources at maximum value and link these resources to the places most in need.
Chang Liu shared some cases in achieving the vision of ACCESS Health. First, the input and output of healthcare resources may not be positively correlated. The US has invested twenty percent of national GDP into the healthcare field while Singapore has invested five percent of that and, considering the demographics of the population, is more efficient than the US. The innovation of a healthcare system and services therefore need to be taken into consideration. Affordable Healthcare by William A. Haseltine, President and Chairman of ACCESS Health, introduces the Singapore system and policies. The book will be published in China in the near future.
Another two cases come from India. The Aravind Eye Care System was one of the organizations that inspired ACCESS Health International to start working in India. The organization revamped the process of quality assurance, standardization, and made the processes scalable without advanced technology or sufficient resources. A doctor in the US can perform six to ten cataract surgeries in one day while a doctor in India can perform six hundred cataract surgeries in one day at most. One surgery in the US costs two thousand USD while it only costs ten USD at Aravind Eye Care System.
Moreover, the Emergency Medical Research Institute in India uses big data to manage ambulance system. The institute uses advanced technology to identify the fastest path to the scene of an accident and places ambulances on the roads with higher risks beforehand. Now there are more than eight hundred thousand people in India receiving free services from the Emergency Medical Research Institute.
ACCESS Health is working as a catalyst to link educational and technological resources at big hospitals and universities to places lacking medical and educational resources. ACCESS Health promotes high quality and affordable healthcare services to the public.