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TalkMed Provides International Cancer Treatment in SW China's Chongqing

By VIVIAN YANYILING WANGICHONGQING|Jul 13,2022

Chongqing- Equipped with beautiful murals, comfortable sofas, big television, and a spacious bathroom with a specially designed outward-opening door to prevent accidents, the Sino-Singapore Cancer Center (SSCC) in Yongchuan pays attention to every detail of its patients’ comfort, enabling them to enjoy a more humanized, high-quality, hotel-style international medical service.

A ward for VIP patients at the Sino-Singapore Cancer Center. (Photo/ the SSCC)

“We are the Sino-Singapore Cancer Center (SSCC),” said Lim Chiang Chuen, CFO at the SSCC. “It is a strategic collaboration between the TalkMed Group in Singapore and the People’s Hospital of Yongchuan District in Chongqing.

The TalkMed Group is a premier provider of tertiary healthcare services in medical oncology, stem cell transplant, and palliative care to oncology patients based in Singapore.

Lim Chiang Chuen, CFO at the SSCC. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

Received more than 6,000 inpatients

According to Lim, the collaboration serves the aim of the SSCC to draw on rich medical resources and strong support from the local government and Singapore medical institutions and capitalize on the expertise, experience, and other resources of the TalkMed group in the area of high-end cancer treatments, medical services, and cancer rehabilitation.

“The patients’ feedback is generally very positive, which is important to us,” said Lim. The SSCC has received Taiwanese patients working in Yongchuan and patients returning from Singapore to Chengdu who had previously been treated in Singapore by the same doctors.

“We have a one-to-one mentorship system whereby each local doctor is assigned with one Singapore doctor as their trainer. They will have a weekly tumor board training session to discuss the complicated cases,” said Lim. “We share our experiences and inculcate western practice and knowledge into local doctors to bridge the gap, raise the standard of care, and bring better treatment options.”

Since its trial operation in January this year, the flexible cooperation mode, top tumor expert team, high-end medical facilities, and personalized treatment methods from the SSCC have all won high recognition from society. Up to now, the hospital has received more than 6,000 inpatients, enhancing medical brands’ influence in western Chongqing.

The Singaporean team at the SSCC. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

Equipped with high-tech diagnostic machines

“Everyone above the age of 35 should start some forms of cancer screening,” said Lim.

Cancer screening tests can help find cancer at an early stage before symptoms appear. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat or cure. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have grown and spread, which can make cancer harder to treat or cure.

“The health screening is like a taboo to many patients because the term ‘cancer’ is very dreaded by people,” said Lim. He believes the advanced foreign technology introduced and the innovative concept advocated by the SSCC can meet the needs of tumor patients in western China and even all over the country.

According to Lim, the SSCC is equipped with Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a diagnostic machine using small amounts of radioactive materials called radiotracers or radiopharmaceuticals, a special camera, and a computer to evaluate organ and tissue functions. By identifying changes at the cellular level, PET may detect the early onset of disease before other imaging tests can.

“Also, the Elekta iSynergy Linear Accelerator that we have as the machine is one of the most advanced radiotherapy equipment around Southwestern China,” said Lim. “A medical linear accelerator customizes high energy x-rays or electrons to conform to a tumor’s shape and destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding normal tissue.”

The Sino-Singapore Cancer Center (SSCC) in Yongchuan District of Chongqing. (iChongqing/ Wang Yiling)

A demonstration project for other cities

The SSCC serves as a demonstration project of the China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity (CCI) in the medical field and a landmark achievement of Chongqing in fully implementing the Comprehensive Pilot of Expanding the Opening-up of the Service Industry by the Ministry of Commerce.

It was also included in the first batch of key projects list as the first Sino-foreign joint non-profit medical institution in Chongqing since February 2022.

The SSCC serves as a demonstration project of the CCI in the medical field. (Photo/ the SSCC)

Last April, the State Council officially approved Chongqing to carry out the Comprehensive Pilot of Expanding the Opening-up of the Service Industry. After a year of innovation practice and reform exploration, 69 of the 86 tasks in the overall pilot plan approved by the State Council have been implemented, with an implementation rate of 80.2%.

Zhang Wei, the chief expert of the China Association of Trade in Services, said that the high-standard opening-up and implementation are the essence of Chongqing’s successful pilot project.

This involves facing a more complex international environment and adjusting globalization strategies, promoting scientific and technological services and data services, transforming and creating new growth factors, and maintaining the leading GDP growth rate.

Zhang said that Chongqing pays attention to developing key fields such as human resources, international education, financial, scientific and technological, data services, and so on, providing essential support for developing the modern service industry and service trade.

This not only develops the industry but also solves the prominent problems of talents, capital, and technology that restrict industrial development, which is worthy of reference for other cities.

(Ge Rongchen, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)

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