Health within reach

Updated: Oct 21, 2021 China Daily Global Print
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The digital drive is also expanding the virtual network, such as by linking at least 37 hospitals in the Yangtze River Delta area with leading intelligent medical facilities, including the virtual consultation room of Shanghai Children's Hospital, which has remote reading, diagnosis and treatment capabilities.

Wu Lianghua, who directs a 70-member, 7,000-square-meter community medical center that has 68 beds, said facilities like his mean villagers are just 15 minutes away from any basic healthcare consultation or treatment.

"We have rehabilitation services. Our doctors and professionals from major hospitals also make their rounds here, and we can refer and direct patients efficiently to the appropriate care," Wu said.

Kong Chuifeng, deputy director of the county health bureau, said: "The three-tier medical network includes county, town and village. We are building mobile medical stations within community services. We set up a mobile station in every community. Every week, medical staff go to patients' homes to deliver medicine.

"We're seeing real results from these efforts. The residents enjoy the convenience of healthcare at their doorstep. They are also able to get regular house calls if needed. Costs are also lower because of the localization of services," he said.

Other achievements resulting from Jiashan's healthcare investments include a maternal mortality rate of zero per 100,000 live births, a neonatal mortality rate of 0.88 per 1,000 live births, and an infant mortality rate of 1.32 per 1,000 live births last year-all significantly lower than provincial health indicators. By June this year, the county reported at least 670,000 digital health records showing improvements among residents in such symptoms as high blood pressure, with life expectancy at 84.07 years.

The figures helped the county receive national accolades for its disease and trauma management efforts and hospital services in the past year.

As part of the latest prevention and control measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, fever clinics and facilities for treatment, infusion observation, CT scans and lab testing, as well as isolation operation rooms, have been put in place, with at least 20 million yuan invested.

Through its multilevel approach, the county aims to utilize the latest medical and health developments, effectively responding to changing public health needs by improving the service level, quality and performance management of primary medical institutions.

Yu Chunsong, who leads a team of county first responders within the provincial emergency medical services network, said his front-line work reflects the major improvements in the field and the increasing focus on healthcare at the local level.

'Regular training'

"Our stations each cover an average service radius under 3 kilometers, with response times achieving eight minutes or less. Our personnel receive regular training, and we have fully equipped facilities and emergency vehicles, with at least one ambulance for every 30,000 residents," he said.

To help integrate first-aid capabilities and further narrow the gaps in rural-urban medical services, 100 million yuan has been invested in the past two years to equip emergency units with at least 21 ambulances, advanced mobile CT scanners and newborn and cardiac treatment devices.

In addition, about 20,000 residents a year participate in first-aid training sessions, thereby continuously improving the ability of members of the public to help themselves, according to county health authorities.

"From the first contact with patients' health condition to helping them to a hospital for any needed treatment, our medical services are close on the ground and kept at the forefront," Yu said.

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