Blogs from China, Asia


Asia » China » Shanghai June 4th 2019

This was our second visit to Shanghai and once again, we made the trip for the Port Adelaide football game which took place on Sunday 2 June at Jiangwan Stadium against St Kilda. The result, a 70 point victory, was most satisfying to the Power fans who had made the trip. Our seats were just to the right of the northern end and we were shaded for about the last three quarters which was great because the weather that day was very warm and sunny. We are becoming more at ease in this humongous city and this time around we were adventurous in our subway travels and taxi catching. The subway is very easy to negotiate once you get the hang of it and taxis are inexpensive. Fun fact: about ten million people catch the subway ... read more
The game
Quiet Sunday afternoon
Dinner Sunday night

Asia » China » Shanghai June 2nd 2019

Europe 2019 Air NZ flight to Shanghai in Premium Plus was worth every extra cent. Large recliner seats No 25 A and B Chicken starter and triple cooked pork belly with cheese cake to finish. Europe 2019 We arrived Shanghai Pudong Airport around 7.00am and were the first people off the plane unfortunately we queued in the wrong line for half an hour before being directed to the transit queue for another half an hour. Finally we were allowed into China. Raewyn was in charge of transportation to our hotel and had sorted out the Metro from the airport. The next problem was to buy the ticket, but our credit card wouldn’t work in the ticket machine, so we went and changed NZ$50 into Yen so we could buy the ticket. The train trip took around ... read more
All electric bikes
The light tunnel
The light tunnel .

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 29th 2019

Chengdu, Sichuan, China (May 25, 2019) Following our team’s final presentation at the meeting we met with the hospital VP and Chair of the Ophthalmology department to discuss how to advance the eye hospital. The consideration was given to do it in an existing facility that is owned or under the SPPH control, but not actually in the main hospital as space is highly sought commodity. There were two suggestions: one a recently built (6 years old) nursing school in the Tianfu region of Chengdu, which is the high tech, high growth area. It was a ten story building on a campus setting with other dorm and cafeteria buildings associated with it. Some of the space was well suited for some inpatient services, but there would need to be a general remodel of the space. Access ... read more
Nursing School Building
Campus where Hospital is Located
Railway Allied Health School Hospital

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 26th 2019

Chengdu, Sichuan, China (May 26, 2019) Sunday morning we had a planning meeting in the hotel’s tea house with one of the SPPH hospital's leaders. The purpose of the meeting was to give him feedback on the two buildings we'd seen and come up with an action plan for moving forward. He expressed there was strong support and that the opportunity to advance it was now. We debated the pros and cons of both locations and decided that the northwest location was likely the best to get started quickly and could always be moved later if the patient flow was a challenge. I pitched a high-level business plan as a starting point, refreshing one that we’d presented five years ago and there was consensus that the approach was still solid and we should move ahead with ... read more
Pitching a Plan

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 24th 2019

Chengdu, China (May 24, 2019) It is Friday and I've been delinquent in keeping up posts on the blog. I'll fill the details in later. After day 1 of the Sino-American Ophthalmology Conference today, we were invited by the SPPH Hospital's VP and Dean of the Medical School for a legitimate Sichuan hot pot dinner. It was a busy place, loud and boisterous and we had all the usual traditional hot pot choices. Twin cauldrons of boiling bullions - one red because of all the hot peppers boiled into it for flavoring and a whiter one in the middle for those with a milder palate preference. Prior to starting, we mix a bowl of sesame oil, vinegars, garlic, herbs and spices to dip the boiled meats and vegetables in and add more flavors and cool down ... read more
Hot Pot ready to boil
Our Table

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 23rd 2019

Chengdu, China (May 22, 2019) Each year we come over, there is a major regional ophthalmology conference where now about 200 ophthalmologists from Sichuan attend. It has grown substantially from the first years, and the venues have become increasingly impressive. This year it was held at Sichuan University campus, where they have a five star hotel and an amazing conference center. Was blown away with the size of the screen for presentation - just shy of Texas Stadium's! It must have been 40 ft high. Some leading ophthalmologists and researchers from other parts of China participated in the first day and the two talks preceding mine were a perfect set up for my topic on artificial intelligence in ophthalmology. Our hosts arranged a speaker's lunch at an exquisite restaurant inside the hotel where a charming hostess ... read more
Elegant presentations
Hostess in Traditional Han Outfit

Asia » China » Sichuan » Chengdu May 22nd 2019

Chengdu, China (May 22, 2019) After the quick flight from Kunming, we took the SPPH hospital bus back to the Tian Chen Lou Hotel - a familiar place for those of us who've been coming to China. Its a mid-range hotel that has been remodeled since we initially used to stay here and is quite nice. The beds are much softer than they used to be, the Internet more reliable, and the breakfast has more variety! Wednesday morning was spent with the ophthalmology residents at SPPH presenting clinical cases on the hospital's 12th floor conference room. The residents have come a long way since our initial years here - disciplined in structuring a case presentation, systematically working through a differential diagnosis and justifying the tests they order to get to a final diagnosis. We were having ... read more
Dr. Liu and Berlin - one of the residents
Game Show Hosts Drs. Melson and Tan
Health Economics Lecture by Dr. Melson

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming May 21st 2019

Kunming, Yunnan, China (May 21, 2019) Today we spent the morning at Kunming Hospital. This is a big place! They have 66 departments, 2.2 million outpatients and 55,000 inpatients yearly; and perform over 40,000 surgeries a year. It services Yunnan Province (a population of 40 million) with a high poverty rate as well as training for doctors from Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar. We spent a full morning in academic exchange with the faculty and departmental staff in a case presentation scenario, working through differential diagnoses and management strategies of cases the residents and fellows on both sides presented.... read more
Kunming Hospital
Chairman of Kunming Hospital Dept. of Ophthalmology
Academic Case Presentations

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming May 21st 2019

Kunming, China (May 21, 2019) We spent the afternoon Tuesday in Kunming, first going to see Lake Dian - one the 8th largest lake in China which is on the southern edge of the city. While it has picturesque views and a nicely developed waterfront park, sadly pollution is a problem. Historically, Kunming had no water shortage, since the city was right next to one of Asia's biggest freshwater lakes. But 90 percent of Kunming's wastewater was pumped untreated into the lake until 1990. In addition, much of the marsh system around the lake was destroyed in a misguided effort to raise rice production by filling the marshes in with trucked-in soil, and agricultural runoff is still a problem, and over half the fish population has been killed off. The lake water is now undrinkable despite ... read more
Sleeping Beauty Island Lake Dian
Park Area

Asia » China » Sichuan » Panzhihua May 20th 2019

Panzihua, Sichuan, China (May 20, 2019) Another bright sunny day in Panzhihua. We mobilized early to make the 3 hour drive to Yongren, run a blindness prevention clinic, eat lunch and then travel another 3-4 hours on the bus to Kunming. Both Yongren and Kunming are in Yunnan Province. The geography of the area is that of mountain regions, deep gorges and interspersed valleys where there is a lot of agriculture. The landscape is also dotted with alternative energy sources - large hillsides covered with solar panels and wind farms on some of the ridges. We also crossed some deep, deep gorges over impressive bridges and tunnel systems - not trivial engineering feats. The bus is very modern and high tech, with multiple cameras and sensors - and the result was a lot of beeps and ... read more
The Phoenix Flower Tree
Mountain, Valleys, Rivers, Dams, Farms and Cities
Arrived in Yongren

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