China sees closer partnerships between medical institutions of different levels

Updated: Apr 8, 2019 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China sees shared regional medical resources and improved medical service capacity as part of its effort to promote partnerships between medical institutions of different levels across the country, the People's Daily reported Saturday.

According to the National Health Commission (NHC), all public tertiary hospitals have participated in the building of medical partnerships. As a result, the flow of patients seeking medical care is reasonable.

More than 19 million two-way referrals from medical institutions across the country have been made. Among them, the number of patients transferred to higher-level hospitals decreased by 15 percent compared to last year and the number of patients transferred the other way increased by 83 percent, according to statistics from the NHC.

Also, 75 percent of medical institutions participating in medical partnerships have realized mutual recognition of examination results.

Telemedicine services, which cover all poverty-stricken counties throughout the country and extend to townships and villages, are now available in all tertiary hospitals in China, according to Ma Xiaowei, head of the NHC.

All prefecture-level cities and over 1,800 counties have also been covered by a telemedicine collaboration network.

As of the end of 2018, 62 percent of county-level hospitals reached the level of secondary hospitals and 22 percent of them reached the level of tertiary hospitals.

According to the NHC, China will pilot medical groups in 100 cities and medical partnerships in 500 counties in 2019, aiming to provide integrated diagnosis and treatment services for patients and improve grassroots medical services.

China has a three-tier system to grade hospitals, with tertiary hospitals -- which have the largest number of beds and provide comprehensive medical services -- at the top of the list.

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