A Sino-Australian forum is the theme of the new issue of Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH), an international medical journal with editorial offices in China and the U.S. The Winter 2015 issue includes three original research articles, one systematic review on models of oral healthcare, three commentaries and two papers focusing specifically on health care in China. Authors from China contributing to this issue come from the University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, Jinan Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Laizhou Health Inspection, Sichuan University, and the Hubei University of Chinese Medicine. Australian authors come from North Richmond Community Health Limited, Victoria; La Trobe University, Link Health and Community, Victoria, and Griffith University.
In a broad sense, Australia and China face similar health policy challenges despite the differences between the two countries. Both countries are working to reduce gaps in health services accessibility and in health outcomes between rich and poor, urban and rural and indigenous and nonindigenous people. Universal coverage of medical care services, coordination between primary care and hospital care, cost containment, and safety and quality of care are priorities on the health reform agenda in both countries.This special issue of FMCH, coordinated by Chaojie Liu of La Trobe University, Demos Krouskos of North Richmond Community Health and Michael Geary of Banyule Community Health provides an opportunity for Australian researchers and health practitioners to demonstrate to their professional peers in China the potential benefits from closer professional and institutional engagement.
The featured work in this issue is an original research article entitled "Striking a balance: the critical importance of sense-making and values-congruent partnerships between GPs and patients following stroke." As stated by authors Carolyn Ehrlich, Elizabeth Kendall and Tara Catalano, people with a recent experience of stroke commonly rely on general practice for assistance to manage everyday consequences and associated disability. The authors investigated how the relationship between these people and their general practitioners assisted daily self-management.
The publication of this special issue coincides with a conference recently held in China : "National General Practice Conference 2015 & 13th Academic Annual Meeting of the General Practice Branch of Chinese Medical Association." Dr Margaret Chan (Director-General of the World Health Organization) and Dr. Zhu Chen (Deputy Chair of National People's Congress) attended the conference and made inspiring speeches, calling for strengthening of primary health care in health reforms. These speeches were translated and included in this issue along with a letter from 13 prominent academicians supporting the further development of general practice in China.
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