▲ Third from left, SickKids CEO and President Mary Jo Haddad stands next to JDC Chairman and CEO Byon Jong Il. Photo courtesy Jeju Free International City Development Center
The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), a world-renowned medical institution in Toronto, Canada, with the Jeju Free International City Development Center (JDC) have agreed to look for ways to work together and create a state of the art children’s hospital within the Jeju Healthcare Town through sharing information. The memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on Jan. 16 at the hospital in Toronto by SickKids CEO and President Mary Jo Haddad and JDC Chairman and CEO Byon Jong Il.
Set upon 1.5 million square meters, the Jeju Healthcare Town is one of the JDC’s six core investment projects to transform Jeju into a international city and free economic zone (free international city). The health care town will include a medical resort (Wellness Park), a medical complex (Medical Park), and a medical research complex (R&D Park) and will cost 784.5 billion won (US$701 million).
According to a SickKids’ press release, they are “investigating its potential role in advising on the design, development and implementation of a children’s healthcare facility in Jeju Healthcare Town.”
“It will mean a lot that one of the world’s best and most respected children’s medical services is” working with the JDC, said JDC Healthcare Town General Director Boo Won-Kyun to The Weekly about the recently signed MOU.
He continued that SickKids collaboration with the JDC will potentially be a huge draw to the town once it opens for people from China and the mainland. SickKids will benefit along with the health care town in that both their reputations will spread throughout Asia.
“The development of this relationship with JDC is part of our broader mandate to be an active participant in the global paediatric advanced care community,” said Raymond King, director of Business Development with the Office of International Affairs at SickKids. “It provides us with the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise in the field, gained from over 137 years of experience as an institution, so as to fulfill our vision of ‘Healthier Children. A Better World.’”
Boo explained that SickKids will not establish a branch hospital within the town, but will advise, consult, supply software, and offer their extensive knowledge on child care for the establishment of a children’s hospital on the island.
After the initial stage if there are particular opportunities “to participate in the development and implementation of the paediatric facility, we would then look at formalizing a contract,” King said.
Albert Oh, medical projects dept. assistant manager at the JDC, explained that this means if the two organizations decide to further their relationship and sign a contract that when the hospital is completed it will be locally staffed but the techniques and skills employed will have been developed by SickKids.
“Through SickKids International, we seek to enhance global child health systems while reinvesting in local improvements to benefit children and families here in Ontario,” Haddad said in a press release. “SickKids is pleased to be able to explore opportunities to provide high-quality paediatric advisory services on Jeju Island.”
Oh said that SickKids’ involvement within Jeju Healthcare Town will not only encourage other reputable institutions to become involved in the project but that when the town is complete it “will benefit children patients from nearby countries.”
Founded in 1875, SickKids is a respected not-for-profit hospital and one that has advanced medical care practices for children and is noted for its cutting edge research particularly on genetics. This MOU is only one of several the hospital has made throughout the world with the purpose of improving paediatric care.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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