Medtronic Breaks Ground on Training Facility in Western China
Medtronic announced Tuesday the groundbreaking of a new clinical training facility in Chengdu, a city in the Sichuan region of China.
The medical device maker, which is domiciled in Dublin but holds its U.S. operational headquarters in Fridley, hopes the new facility will be a boon to the country’s western half, which has struggled to cultivate skilled medical workers at the rate of eastern China or countries elsewhere.
The lack of effective training has led to an average 10-year gap between the maturation period of Chinese physicians compared to those in developed countries, Medtronic said in its release. Moreover, China’s western regions offered just 89 on-the-job medical training organizations as of 2015, or roughly half of what’s available in eastern China.
“The China market presents one of the greatest opportunities for Medtronic,” said Chris Lee, president of Medtronic Greater China, in a statement. “With the new Medtronic Innovation Center in Chengdu, we will have more resources to mobilize local medical workers to participate in key health care initiatives, and eventually strengthen and advance the vital healthcare industry.”
As the world’s largest medical device maker boasting broad innovation and clinical expertise, Medtronic believes thousands of Chinese residents will flock to the site in the years following its scheduled 2020 opening. By 2025, the company anticipates 7,000 will be using its Chengdu center to study a number of disciplines, including surgery, minimally invasive surgery, intensive care, internal medicine and anesthetics, as well as disease areas such as cardiovascular, tumors, respiratory, nervous system, gastrointestinal, and renal diseases.
The Chengdu center, Medtronic added, would be filled with “cutting-edge simulation systems and equipment” and offer “world-class” training curriculums.
“Medtronic understands the critical role that rural physicians play in driving the health care availability and transformation,” Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak said in prepared remarks. “As such, we hope to support the growth and development of medical workers in China’s vast central and western regions.”
Medtronic offers a similar training facility in eastern China at its Shanghai Innovation Center, which has been in operation for over a decade. Its Chengdu center, once open, will join Medtronic’s network of Innovation Centers that exist in the nearby countries of Japan, Korea and India, as well as Turkey and Brazil.
California operations still standing
As wildfires in northern California continue to scorch the region, Medtronic has kept a close eye on its assets in the line of fire.
Two of the company’s buildings in the city of Santa Rosa, one of the hardest hit areas, appear to be standing but inaccessible at the moment, Medtronic spokesman Fernando Vivanco told the Star Tribune.
“We have some initial, positive observations of our Fountaingrove and Coffey Lane facilities, which were at most risk of being impacted by the fires,” he said. “We will have additional information on site impacts once we gain access to facilities.”
By “positive observations,” Vivanco clarified this meant the buildings “did not burn down.”
Fountaingrove is largely used as an administrative office with a research and development unit aimed at vascular and heart devices. Its Coffey Lane building mostly functions as a materials warehouse, the Star Tribune noted.
Nearby facilities Brickway and Skylane, although unaffected by the fires, are said to be difficult to access.