Shanghai's aged care leaders visit HammondCare, UNSW

Senior aged care and health officials from China's biggest city, Shanghai, have spent more than a fortnight closely studying Australia's aged care system as they grapple with a rapidly ageing population.

With a population as big as Australia - more than 23 million - caring for the growing number of older residents is a huge issue for the senior delegation of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau.

And with a population in Shanghai that is already older on average than Australia, the search for best practice answers led to the Sydney visit which is a joint initiative of UNSW and HammondCare.

Hammond Chair of Positive Ageing and Care, A/Prof Chris Poulos, arranged the intensive course on the Australian aged care system for the delegation which centred on HammondCare's Research and Education Centre in Hammondville.

"The purpose of the visit is to see how the aged care system operates in Australia so that the delegates can plan the aged care system in Shanghai," A/Prof Poulos said.

"The Shanghai population is already older then it is in Australia. The officials don't just want a casual work around, they want to know how our system actually works, including the areas that are working well and the areas that need improving."

The delegation heard from a range of HammondCare representatives including Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd, Chief Medical Officer A/Prof Andrew Cole, Dementia Centre Director Colm Cunningham, Head of HammondCare Southern Region Keith Morgan and A/Prof Cole.

The Shanghai delegation included - Ding Hansheng, Deputy Director, Shanghai Health Development Research Centre; Li Shuijing, Section Chief, Division of Primary Healthcare, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning; Zhuang Yuehong, Section Chief, General Office, Pudong New Area Health Bureau, Shanghai; Zhang Xiaohong, Deputy Director Nursing Department Renji Hospital, affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; Gu Jingchun, Director, Zhi Jiang Xi Sub-district Community Health Service Centre, Zhabei District, Shanghai; Cai Zezhong. Standing Vice President, Shanghai Donghai Aged Care Hospital.