The 6th US-China Health Summit Features ACCESS Health

The US-China Health Summit is one of the largest and most important annual gatherings of health care leaders from the world’s two largest economies. Xi’an, China hosted the sixth annual summit earlier this month, with two thousand experts from academia, research, industry, and government in attendance. The summit featured ACCESS Health experts and ideas prominently, and helped raise awareness about healthcare solutions that ACCESS Health will be focusing on in the months ahead.

ACCESS Health International Chairman and President William A. Haseltine speaking at the 6th US-China Summit
ACCESS Health International Chairman and President William A. Haseltine speaking at the 6th US-China Summit

ACCESS Health Chairman and President, William Haseltine, led a session on building healthy cities for all ages and gave a keynote speech on Health as an Organizing Principle for Urban Design. A focus on health and wellness could have profound implications for urban design and redesign. Dr. Haseltine noted that while city planners regularly take into consideration the economic viability of cities, few consider health. Yet health and wellness account for between twenty and thirty percent of all economic activity and are the only continual source of new job growth in advanced economies.

A focus on health and wellness would mean designing and developing transportation systems, housing, and recreational facilities that meet the needs of young and old. It would also mean the creation of a truly “smart city”, with prevention and healthcare systems supported by comprehensive information networks providing data in real time. This could dramatically reduce the total cost of healthcare.

Dr. Haseltine was joined by Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ACCESS Health India Country Director, for a series of presentations on integrated health. In theory, integrated healthcare would provide universal high quality health for all individuals, at a price governments and cities could afford. In practice, this can be difficult to achieve. Dr. Haseltine and Mr. Bhattacharya laid out a possible solution: person centered integrated healthcare. This approach brings healthcare services to homes and communities. It ensures tight linkages between homecare, community healthcare services, ambulatory care centers, regional hospitals, and other medical centers to provide seamless care for each person or family.

ACCESS Health also invited Dr. Ramana Rao of GVK Emergency Management and Research Institute to speak about his experience growing the world’s largest ambulance and emergency medical service delivery organization. What began in 2005 as an idea to improve the quality of India’s emergency services and integrate responses from medical, police, and fire departments, has developed into a system that serves more than sixty five percent of the population. The use of technology, innovation, leadership, research, training, and collaboration were all important factors in the success of the institute.

Paresh Parasnis, CEO of Piramal Foundation, was also invited to speak on high impact solutions that leverage technology for service delivery at scale. Piramal Swasthya, formally known as the Health Management and Research Institute, developed a health information help line that provides basic medical information, advice and counseling by phone, eliminating the need for a visit to a health provider.

ACCESS Health International at the 6th US-China Health Summit
ACCESS Health International at the 6th US-China Health Summit

ACCESS Health was able to draw this superior group of experts in health innovation to the summit thanks to the organization’s close working relationships with governments, private sector leaders and other nonprofits.

The summit was sponsored by the China National Health and Family Planning Commission and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Core organizers include Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Peking Union Medical College, School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

To read more about the summit, visit