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.
Other articles published in the issue include:
Xiaohui Ren, Hongdao Meng, Chaojie Liu, Jinhui Wu, Birong Dong, Ningxiu Li: "Family structure and support for the oldest old: a cross-sectional study in Dujiangyan, China" This paper examined the association of family size and composition with family support for nonagenarians and centenarians given the decline of the extended family in a society where adult children have traditionally provided support for their aged parents.
Yan Wu, Yanping Zhao, Xiaoxia Huang, Junyan Wang, Huilin Xu, Hualin Su: "Exploration and practice of general practitioner responsibility system in urban community" The authors investigated the public health management model of Minhang District of Shanghai. They concluded that the development of the system was limited by several factors.
Bradley Christian, Martin Hall, Rachel Martin: "A paradigm shift in models of oral health care: an example and a call to action" This review examined the Oral Health Program at North Richmond Community Health and their development of an innovative model of oral health care. Evaluation of this approach is currently being conducted to study the sustainability of such a model under the current public dental service funding model.
Xuefeng Shi, Xuefeng Bian, Weiqing Wang, Yunyun Fang in "Current situation of AIDS prevention and control with traditional Chinese medicine and relevant policies in China", analyzed the current system, the prevention and treatment team, drugs relating to AIDS prevention and control with traditional Chinese medicine and the relevant policies in China.
In "The role of a community health service in the prevention of violence against women" Bronwyn Upston, Carolyn Poljski, and Helen Wirtz describe the roles community health services can play in the prevention of violence against women – as a partner and setting for prevention programs, in planning and service provision.
Ailsa Rothenbury: "A new paradigm for assessment of infant feeding deviation" Historically, infant survival relied on breastfeeding until pathogens were identified, food technology developed, and infant/child surveillance commenced within the ethos of public health. The concept of the infant as a primary cause of feeding problems demands consideration of a new paradigm and prompts research.
John Adamm Ferrier:"Systematic reviews in general practice: Applicability of the review "Mass media interventions for preventing smoking in young people" in the People's Republic of China." This paper examined how a major problem for Chinese primary health providers such as general practitioners has been the lack of a clear role within the entire health system, unlike in other countries where the general practitioner is rightly considered to be the cornerstone of the system and the gatekeeper to specialist services.
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.
FMCH is available on the IngentaConnect platform and at Family Medicine and Community Health. Submissions may be made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. There are no author submission or article processing fees.