Gold Coast University Hospital surgical theatre||||Dr Randy Bindra hosts surgical workshop|Dr Randy Bindra|Brain aneurysm surgery|Dr Hal Rice|Live stream filming underway for medical training

Gold Coast hub for health and medical training

Kathy Kruger | January 2018

It’s a highly complex operation and central to the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct (GCHKP) developing as a leading Asia Pacific medical training hub, in partnership with some of the world’s leading medical technology companies.

For Interventional Neurovascular Radiologist Dr Hal Rice, removing an unruptured aneurysm from his middle-aged female patient’s brain is all in a day’s work at Gold Coast University Hospital (GCUH).

For the doctors observing via live stream in New Dehli at a neuro-intervention specialist conference, the delicate procedure represents a new path forward for their patients, as the Indian healthcare system continues to advance.

For Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies, such high-tech training sessions are typical of what the company is doing globally to educate doctors in developing countries, with Dr Rice considered a key expert on their neurovascular technologies and the Gold Coast an ideal location for Asia-Pacific training.

According to Stryker’s Regional Marking Manager Asia Pacific Michael Koronis, the company is keen to leverage the globally-recognised expertise of Dr Rice, who together with colleague Dr Laetitia de Villiers, hosted the World Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology Congress (WFITN) on the Gold Coast in 2015.

“Dr Rice is a key opinion leader in encouraging the use of our latest products and technology and he has a real passion for education,” Mr Koronis says.

“Stryker regionalised our global structure about a year ago, and we’re committed to enhancing access to advanced procedures in Asia through leveraging such leading experts as Dr Rice, along with the high-standard medical facilities available here in Australia, as well as the advantage of a common or similar time-zone across the Asia-Pacific to conduct live training.

China is the region’s largest market and while India is on a similar scale, it has its challenges in terms of the infrastructure available, access to the latest technologies and variability in patient care and follow up, however it has great potential given the common English language and the willingness of local physicians to learn from more experienced centres like GCUH.”

Dr Rice sees the training potential into Asia as being huge – both in training an increasing number of doctors in procedures that are now relatively common in Australia, and in training experienced Asian doctors in the latest procedures that are being pioneered here.

“Since hosting the WFITN congress on the Gold Coast in November 2015 we’ve had increasing requests for training and upskilling experienced Asian doctors at GCUH,” Dr Rice says.

“There is huge and increasing demand as India and other countries in Asia develop new health networks and hospitals with modern technology.”

Dr Rice says the live video streaming training was immersive and complimented hands-on training with experienced clinicians.

“It enables the delegates at the conference in New Delhi to see in real time the technical aspects of the treatment and gives them a firsthand experience as if they were with us in the operating theatre,” he says.

The good news is the patient is recovering well and the even better news is more patients are set to benefit, not only from this procedure and the technology that makes it possible, but from the work Dr Rice is doing to develop and test the next generation of surgical devices.

Having been a key participant in previous clinical trials he has worked closely with Stryker this year on the design and prototyping of a new device, and the company is keen to ramp up future opportunities for clinical trials on the Gold Coast.

“We’ve traditionally focused on the larger markets of the US and Europe for our clinical trials, but the capacity and expertise is really building here and we see a great deal of potential to tap into these resources,” Mr Koronis says.

Orthopaedics is also another area of expertise within the GCHKP, with leading hand and wrist surgeon Dr Randy Bindra, Queensland Clinical Educator of the Year in 2016,active in encouraging training of overseas doctors, including a delegation of 35 Indian doctors who travelled to the Gold Coast for the face-to-face training in specialised surgical techniques, including complex trauma cases.

Asia-Pacific’s emerging health and innovation hub, the 200-hectare, the GCHKP is a unique global business location for high-tech industry development, research collaboration and jobs of the future.

Supported by $5 billion in recent health, education and transport infrastructure and equipped with ultra-high speed fibre optic cabling, the Precinct is home to the GCUH, the world-class Griffith University and the new Gold Coast Private Hospital.

The GCHKP hosts the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Athletes Village, to be transformed into a vibrant $550 million mixed-use community to live, work and learn.

Boasting medical simulation training facilities and a diverse range of conference, lecture, meeting and events facilities and a boutique hotel for conference accommodation from early 2018, the Precinct is also active in clinical trials across the hospitals and the university and in partnership with global companies, including a significant vaccine development join trial with a Chinese biopharmaceutical company.

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