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Novel approach sees medical professionals move into the classroom

Shirley Ngai Pui-ching teaches in a simulated hospital ward at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. [Photo/China Daily]

A new approach to experiential training for medical professionals is taking place in the classroom.

A simulated hospital ward, control room and teaching area are being applied to train students of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy, a treatment for patients with damage to the heart and lungs.

The simulation of real conditions was developed by Shirley Ngai Puiching, associate professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, or PolyU.

“Traditional classroom teaching is a reactive way of learning. Students absorb knowledge only by sitting in a classroom and listening to their teachers,” she said.

At PolyU, undergraduates practice their skills in the simulated hospital ward, responding to conditions generated by the master control room. The entire setting is intended to create an environment of high tension.

Medical instruments supply data on blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen level, and so on. The difference from the real world is that physiotherapy trainees work on dummies. The objective is to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding and practice with real-life situations.

Ngai teaches a junior class. Typically, students who major in cardiorespiratory physiotherapy are assigned to work in intensive care units after graduation. They monitor patients after cardiac surgery, helping to restore cardiopulmonary function as early as possible.

“I observed that many students lacked confidence during their internships. They found it difficult to apply classroom learning in clinical practice, especially in intensive care units,” Ngai said. She added that she had experienced the same anxieties during her ICU internship.

Ngai said one of the challenges for interns is learning clinical judgment. When should sputum be extracted from a patient? What are the procedures? This comes down to practice and experience.

She aims to give students enough preparation to reduce the steep learning curve during pre-clinical internship and clinical practice.

The program started in 2013 when Ngai was awarded a HK$1 million grant ($127,000 at today’s rates) from PolyU for medical equipment.

During each two-hour session, she divides a class of more than 100 students into four or five groups. They spend about 20 to 30 minutes practicing, about the time spent on actual cases.

“Under the safe and controlled conditions, students get various types of professional training,” Ngai said. She dons headphones and a microphone in the control room, playing the role of a patient and giving the students feedback.

Students are expected to respond to the guidance. They may choose to give a dummy patient breathing instructions, or experiment with different positions and approaches to therapy.

Videos of each session are played to give students a chance to assess their performance and those of their classmates.

Owen Tio Yuk-pui, a registered physiotherapist who graduated last year, said, “Everybody laughed when there were stupid mistakes – and there are quite a few of them.”

Tio said the more mistakes made in the simulated training, the fewer errors there are during hands-on internships and clinical practice.

Snow disrupts traffic in central China

Snow hit Xuchang, Henan province, Jan 9, 2019. [Photo/VCG]

ZHENGZHOU – As of Wednesday afternoon, 27 expressways in central China’s Henan province have been partially closed or controlled after snow hit the region, local authorities said.

Most parts on the south of the Yellow River in the province saw small and moderate snow while some regions in the cities of Nanyang and Xinyang were hit by heavy snow. It is estimated that the snow will continue for the next 12 hours.

The provincial observatory issued a yellow alert for icy roads on Wednesday morning. Passenger vehicles with seats of seven or above have been banned from expressways in the city of Kaifeng, Xinyang and Nanyang for safety concerns. The local traffic police have issued warning to drivers of the road conditions.

Shenzhen joins competition for top talent, using hukou as a lure

The skyline of Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province is seen on July 22, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

The southern metropolis of Shenzhen has joined other cities in a fierce competition to attract talent by simplifying the procedure for university graduates to obtain local household registration, known as hukou.

Under new employment rules, graduates will be able to submit applications online by uploading their education certificates and personal information instead of going to human resource offices in person, according to a recent announcement by the local government.

The computer system will check the documents’ authenticity and applicants’ qualifications, and then provide examination results within a few minutes. The work was previously done manually by employees, taking weeks or even months.

The new system aims to further improve the examination process for university graduates and deal with their hukou matters, enhancing work efficiency and increasing Shenzhen’s attractiveness for talent, the announcement said.

Graduates will also be allowed to apply for Shenzhen hukou on their own, instead of having to apply through an agency.

The city said it will enhance data sharing between departments to provide more convenience to applicants.

The move is Shenzhen’s latest effort to attract talent as it strives to build itself into an international innovation hub.

This month, the city’s housing authorities released a document on deepening housing system reform. According to the document, Shenzhen will build 1.7 million units of housing by 2035, more than half of which will be designated for talented workers, affordable commercial housing and public rental housing.

No less than 60 percent of newly released residential land will be designated for the housing starting this year, it said.

Shenzhen’s home prices are among the highest in China. According to Centerline Property, the average price for a new home in May was 54,111 yuan ($8,445) per square meter, down just 58 yuan from April in the wake of tight purchasing and loan restrictions. Some experts are worried that the city’s skyrocketing home prices could lead to the exodus of talent.

Bai Ping, a researcher at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said the introduction of the new hukou policy is an effective way for Shenzhen to retain and attract talent, given the high cost of living in the city.

“For many fresh graduates, the primary issue is the hukou because the document is closely related to the rights and social services they can enjoy – for example, buying homes or getting medical treatment,” she said.

Li Shujuan, a senior at Shenzhen University, said although hukou is an important factor to consider, the main concern when deciding whether to stay in a city upon graduation is job opportunities.

Shenzhen is only one of the players in the talent race. A number of other Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Xi’an, have also offered preferential policies to woo graduates.

Shanghai launches tall building safety checks

Shanghai’s financial district, Lujiazui in Pudong, is seen at night on July 18, 2018. [Photo/IC]

As typhoon season approaches, Shanghai has launched a citywide inspection on the potential peril of falling objects. As of Wednesday, the city had completed inspections in 9,151 communities involving about 223,000 buildings, said the Shanghai Municipal Housing and Construction Committee.

Although the exact number of “falling object” injuries in the city or across the country is difficult to determine, objects falling from above and striking people below have become an increasing cause of injuries and fatalities in cities where high-rise buildings are prevalent.

Shanghai is a peculiar example, home to more than 47,500 buildings taller than eight stories, among which more than 1,700 are over 30 stories. The city also is home to more than 330,000 elevated outdoor billboards. The installation of air conditioners, clotheslines and poles usually attached to buildings’ exteriors also poses a serious peril as they can come loose and fall.

The municipal government has launched a day-to-day inspection mechanism to detect such hidden dangers across the city and set up an emergency instruction center on property management and related apps to oversee the issue.

The city’s housing construction and management authority has required property management companies to make daily inspections of the properties they manage. Daily inspection ranges from the exterior walls of houses, glass walls, windows, air conditioners, clotheslines and poles, and any other elevated objects found outside buildings.

A three-year plan has been formulated for the rectification of additional facilities. Shanghai also will build a falling object emergency response system to clarify responsibility of any stake holders and strive to eliminate potential safety hazards from the source.

Chen Yiqun contributed to this story.

China sets up rural waste recycling demo base

A staff member collects garbage in Shangdong village of Lin’an district in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province, Aug 16, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

HANGZHOU – China has set up a national demonstration base for rural waste treatment and recycling in the eastern China province of Zhejiang to showcase the benefits of high-tech waste disposal.

The demo base uses the whole township of Lincheng for the program — from garbage classification to bio-mass treatment.

The program is jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. It is jointly built by research institutes of the Tongji and Zhejiang universities.

The township produces 3 to 5 tonnes of waste a day, which can be reduced to 800 kg after going through bio-mass disposal.

He Pinjing from the rural waste disposal technology research and training center of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said the base’s disposal solution is cost-effective while realizing a zero pollution to air, water and soil.

Chen Minhua, Party chief of the bureau of agriculture and rural affairs of Changxing County, which administrates Lincheng township, said the waste disposal station was built with an investment of 900,000 yuan ($134,132), which can cover 21,000 people in six villages.

The second-phase construction is expected to begin in May with an investment of 2.1 million yuan, which is designed to cover 12 villages with a total population of 59,000, said Chen.

Curbing environmental pollution in rural areas has been a concern of China. According to the “No. 1 central document” released by central authorities in January, China will promote rural development and improve rural living environment and public services. The living environment in rural areas is expected to see remarkable improvement by 2020. To that end, authorities are committed to upgrading garbage and sewage treatment facilities to build a more beautiful countryside.

Beijing calls for greater G20 role in world affairs

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, left of Australia’s Julie Bishop, attends the G20 Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Monday with other foreign ministers. He called for boosting multilateralism and the G20’s role in global governance in a speech. [Photo/Xinhua]

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized on Monday the importance of upholding multilateralism amid rising anti-globalization sentiment and protectionism, and he called for a bigger role for the G20 in global governance.

Wang made the remarks in a speech at the G20 Meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers on Monday in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

History has shown that nobody can solve every problem by himself, Wang said. Pursuing protectionism is not only shutting the door to others, but also barricading one’s own road, he added.

The G20 summit, initiated as a platform of global economic governance 10 years ago, has exercised the spirit of partnership and contributed to global economic recovery and growth through policy coordination and cooperation, he said.

The G20 is the reflection of multilateralism in the new era as well as the progress of global governance reform, Wang said. He called for a greater role for the group in pushing economic globalization in the right direction.

China will always be a builder of world peace and a contributor to global development, as well as a defender of the international order, he added.

Wang also said in a separate speech that the G20 is responsible for providing more opportunities and support to developing countries by promoting global growth.

The mechanism should take into consideration the concerns of developing countries when promoting global cooperation in areas such as the economy, finance, trade, energy and employment, he said.

Unfilled needs in infrastructure investment in emerging markets and developing countries every year amount to $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion, Wang said.

China expects to enhance cooperation with the G20 in helping interconnect the infrastructure in these countries through the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.

Chen Fengying, a senior world economy researcher at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said China is calling for multilateralism because it can provide maximum benefits to all countries.

“This is especially important when the world is facing the challenges of unilateralism and protectionism pursued by certain countries,” she said.

Wang’s remarks show China’s firm support for multilateralism and willingness to conduct cooperation with other countries through multilateral means, Chen said.

Support from multilateral mechanisms such as the G20 is crucial to emerging markets that are going through financial difficulties, like Argentina, she added.

Beijing’s new int’l airport witnesses first full-scale test run

A picture of Beijing Daxing International Airport, taken by drone last month. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — Beijing Daxing International Airport saw its first full-scale test run on Friday to assess its operational readiness and fix possible problems.

The test run, which lasted nearly 6 hours, involved more than 6,000 participants. It started at 8:30 am, with 1,182 simulated passengers arriving at the departure hall with 1,182 pieces of luggage.

Ten departure gates, 35 check-in counters, 16 carousels, eight security lines as well as northwest and northeast concourses were put into use during the test run.

The airport, scheduled to be operational before Sept 30, will see five other major test runs in the coming weeks. There will be a total of 787 tests involving 500 flights, 51,984 simulated passengers and 35,270 pieces of luggage over the six total test runs.

Located 46 km south of downtown Beijing, the airport was designed to take pressure off the overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport located in a northeastern suburb of the city.

The airport will become a pivotal air traffic hub for international travel to and from China, supporting China’s push to become the world’s largest civil aviation market, which is forecast to take place around the mid-2020s.

It is forecast to see its passenger throughput reach 72 million in 2025, and further increase to 100 million by 2040, when it is likely to surpass Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States to become the world’s largest airport in passenger throughput.

Technology makes strides in eldercare

Editor’s note: Countries and regions worldwide are facing challenges posed by aging populations. This is part of a series in which China Daily looks at the issue.

Hong Kong, which prides itself on life expectancy rates that are among the highest in the world, faces a number of population challenges that the maturing field of gerontechnology, which uses technology to address the needs of aging people, is expected to ease in the coming years.

Government projections expect that more than one-third of the population, or 2.37 million people, in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region could be older than 65 by 2036.

The trend is coupled with the additional strain that a rapidly aging population has on the workforce and the financial demands of eldercare, giving rise to the wider use of an array of technological devices to help the elderly, according to the Hong Kong Society for the Aged.

The growing gerontechnology field, which combines gerontology and technology, includes motion-sensor games that are used at eldercare facilities to assist in rehabilitation activities, according to the group. One of the most popular such games is visual bowling, in which players stand in front of big screens and “throw” a virtual ball to score points.

The group’s executive director, Maggie Leung Yee-mei, said the games add entertainment value to routine exercises. “The seniors’ attitude toward exercise becomes more positive,” she said.

Virtual reality technology is also used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly people suffering from dementia are shown 3D images of scenes familiar to them, such as streets, parks and landmarks in the communities where they have lived. The exercises help awaken deep-seated memories, in turn helping to ease the symptoms of dementia, Leung said.

The society also uses imported equipment, but its chairman, Kim Mak Kin-wah, said many of the devices from overseas are too large for Hong Kong’s comparatively smaller facilities.

Collaboration with science-technology enterprises has helped social service facilities to better understand elderly people and their caregivers, according to Mak.

“We know more about the demands and habits of the elderly and learn what users need,” Mak said.

Gerontechnology is helping to modernize the eldercare field, making it less laborious and raising the sector to a higher standard of professionalism, according to Elderly Commission Chairman Lam Ching-choi.

In August, the nongovernmental organization Haven of Hope Christian Service, which provides eldercare and rehabilitation services in Hong Kong, signed an agreement with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to jointly explore solutions for improving the quality of life for the elderly and their caregivers.

The two are in the discussion stage of seven projects. One is a study of the genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease among elderly Chinese. Another aims to develop a real-time 3D facial recognition system to detect symptoms related to the onset of mental and physical disease.

There will be more cross-sector collaboration, leading to the development of more user-friendly tech products for the local eldercare market, Mak said.

Government role

Lingnan University Vice-President Joshua Mok Ka-ho, a social policy specialist, said the challenge faced by the sector is to raise the awareness among seniors and front-line staff of the value of high-tech devices.

Lam, who is also a member of the Executive Council – the top policymaking advisory body to the chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR -said the first step is to encourage service providers to adopt tech devices for the aged.

Last year, the Hong Kong government set up the HK$1 billion ($127.4 million) Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care. The fund provides subsidies for eldercare and rehabilitation services units to procure, rent and test technological products.

The government’s next step is to extend the subsidy to individual users, Lam said.

He said the government is considering allowing residents to rent the tech devices with community care vouchers from the government.

Eligible elderly people currently have access to different services -such as rehabilitation exercises, nursing care and personal care – in community centers or at homes with the vouchers.

Vivian Lou Wei-qun, director of the Sau Po Centre on Aging at the University of Hong Kong, expressed concerns that Hong Kong’s eldercare sector lacks a clear plan to guide the development of gerontechnology, with the lack of a unified effort.

Lou suggested that the government take the lead and set more precise objectives for the development of the sector.

Lingnan University’s Mok said the city’s eldercare stakeholders should look into the experiences of different regions worldwide and apply them to Hong Kong based on its own conditions.

Easing the burden

Meeting the increasing demand for eldercare services will be another important element of gerontechnology amid a decline in the working population, analysts said.

In 2017, Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department surveyed the human resources of 69 nongovernmental eldercare providers. The institutions recorded an average vacancy rate of 18 percent for personal care workers.

High-tech products are expected to alleviate staff shortages, according to those in the industry. New devices will be able to monitor the health of elderly patients, with systems also allowing eldercare staff to keep a close watch on them. The technological devices promise to relieve the burden on human resources and be more efficient than human workers in various aspects.

A number of nursing homes in the region have reported using anti-wandering and tracking garments for some of their elderly residents affected by dementia. The radio frequency identification devices trigger alarms if the seniors wander out of designated areas.

Similarly, wearable robotic lifts assist caregivers by reducing the strain of lifting seniors onto and off of beds, according to specialists.

However, the advances in technology can never remove the necessity for human staff, and eldercare in Hong Kong will still need to attract more young people, with their participation in the sector vital to its development, Mok said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sends envoy to attend inauguration of Serbian president

BELGRADE – At the invitation of the Republic of Serbia, Ji Bingxuan, special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, attended the inauguration ceremony of the newly-elected Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic here on Friday.

Ji, also vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China, China’s top legislature, conveyed President Xi’s congratulation and good wishes to Vucic, saying China and Serbia are good friends able to share weal and woe, and the ties between the two countries are at their highest point.

China is willing to boost mutual political trust along with Serbia and deepen pragmatic cooperation taking the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity, said the envoy.

He noted that the two sides should well implement the projects in the fields such as infrastructure and energy to promote progress of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Vucic thanked President Xi for sending an envoy to attend his inauguration and asked Ji to convey his greetings to President Xi.

The Serbian president said Serbia and China enjoyed a deep and long friendship, and achieved a lot in cooperation.

Serbia will continue to give priority to developing the relationship with China and will play an active role in the Belt and Road Initiative so that the cooperation between the two sides can be further enhanced in all fields and bilateral ties can be lifted to a higher level.

Vucic, former prime minister of Serbia, won the April 2 presidential election and assumed office on May 31.

Ji also met the speaker of the Serbian parliament Maja Gojkovic.

Myanmar edition of Xi’s book on governance of country launched in Nay Pyi Taw

NAY PYI TAW — The Myanmar edition of the first volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” was launched here on Monday.

The Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Myanmar Ministry of Information also jointly held a forum on governance on the same day.

U Tun Tun Htein, deputy speaker of the lower house of the Myanmar parliament, U Aye Thar Aung, deputy speaker of the upper house of the Myanmar parliament, Dr. Pe Myint, minister of information, U Ohn Win, minister for natural resources and environmental conservation, were present at the release ceremony and forum.

Xi’s book is of great significance for people from China and other countries to learn and understand Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and it is also a key for the international community to understanding today’s China, the participants at the forum said.

The contents of the book underscores the fact that the Communist Party of China strives for the well-being of the Chinese people, rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as well as peace and development of mankind, they said.

The release of the Myanmar edition of the book opens a new window for Myanmar people to get a better understanding of China, they said, adding that the book also serves as a new bridge for the two peoples to further promote China-Myanmar “paukphaw” (fraternal) friendship.

Myanmar and China are friendly neighbors linked by rivers and mountains and a natural community of shared future, they agreed, noting they can deepen exchanges on governance experience through the book.

Currently, both countries are facing critical periods of reform and development, and it bears great significance for them to strengthen communication and exchanges on governance, promote national development, and enhance the well-being of their people.

The first volume of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” was published in September 2014 and republished in January 2018, receiving broad attention and favorable reviews from Chinese and foreign readers. Now the book has been issued in 24 languages and 27 editions, and circulates in more than 160 countries and regions.