Monday, March 23, 2015


I spend the last 4 days in Beijing as a guest faculty at the China Interventional Therapeutics 2015 ( CIT 2015 ).
One thing was very obvious as I sit there at the main hall. They have grown by leaps and bounds. I could see the tremendous growth from the days of 4th June 1993 ( when I first went to visit and help them at Fu Wai Hospital, Beijing till today.

This meeting now has an attendance of about 10,000 attendees, of foreign doctors, local doctors, nurses, technicians and industry personnels. We saw 40+ live cases and there were so many concurrent sessions that I really cannot count. There was the local section and the international sessions.
I did learn a few lessons, as usual.
1. The organisation is always fantastic. Everything is taken care of, and executed well. The sessions ran smoothly, even with all the live demo sessions.
2. You could do cases well, in a simple manner with good results, as shown by Dr Jean Fajadet on Saturday morning.
3. TAVI has grown in USA and they are now advocating TAVI for minor risk patients with AS. BUT they have actively promoted the formation of a heart team to safeguard abuse.
4. You also could have live demo and also cine case discussion to get the best of both worlds.
5. My good friend Prof Gao RuLin is actively grooming a young set of interventionist to take over the meetings. I can see that many of the symposium chairpersons and also presenters are young interventionist ( before my time ). They are grooming new leaders.

           Beijing also has grown. The Beijing Capital International airport has grown. It has 3 runways and to parl the plane after landing takes 15-20 mins ( looks like forever turning.  The water cube, Bird Nest stadium, the Olympic Park, all  across the road from my hotel, was all spruced up as they await the IOC inspection team arriving on 22nd March.  Beijing subway fare rate has increased from 2 yuan to 5 yuan to Tian Ann Men square. I bought myself an IC ( their name for a subway pass
The weather was great. Day temperature was about 18-20oC and evening was 7-9oC. That was great.
The security around Tian Ann Men was very strict.

They were doing body searches and so the queues at the entrance to the square was about 100 feet long, at 5 abreast till one lane just before the body search.

Tian Ann Men itself still looks grand as ever. With a beautiful sky ( that day, air polution was minimal ), and the people were out ( it was Saturday 21st March ), so it was carnival like with great crowds. Eating at the side streets of WangFuJing is always an experience. Everything boiled and cooked of course.
The only upset in Beijing was the Facebook, Googles, and Gmail blankout in Beijing. I could not contact anyone by gmail, so I had to aplogise and literally reply hundreds of mail on Sunday night. Usually, FB is blank-out. This time, Gmail and Googles as well.
I flew out with about 5 other interventionists ( unplanned of course ) on flight MH 360 ( the successor of MH 370 ) which landed in Beijing Capital International airport st about 12.30am on 19th March. My pick-up had actually come to pick me up at 1am on 18th March ( the problem of flight leaving one one day and landing on next day ), so I had to email for them to send the pick-up again. Anyway, the flight was pleasant and I must say, the cabin crew service was good this time. The return flight was MH 361, leaving Beijing at 1.30am and arriving KLIA at about 7.35 am on 22nd March.
All in all, it was a good trip, and I met many old friends.

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