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The medical teams of Beijing's mountains

Updated: Jan 5, 2022 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- About 70 km southwest of downtown Beijing lies the mountain township of Da'anshan, where the elderly account for more than half of the total population, most of whom have suffered from heart disease, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases for years.

Wang Jinhui, working in the health center of the township since 2013, has been committed to providing medical services for the mountain villagers. "More than 20 years have passed since I graduated from college, during which I have never left the mountain clinics," Wang said.

When he arrived at Da'anshan Township about eight years ago, Wang found that the empty-nest elderly with chronic diseases hardly had access to medical services, while the rugged mountain roads made it even more difficult for them to get to the health center for treatment.

To solve the problem, Wang came up with an idea to provide door-to-door medical services for local villagers, which was not well-supported by his colleagues initially. Rugged roads, the shortage of medical equipment and the lack of experience were obstacles in front of them.

Nevertheless, Wang and his colleagues insisted on providing door-to-door medical services in Da'anshan. Wang divided the medical staff in the health center into five teams covering the whole township, and each team consists of a doctor, a pharmacist, a cashier and a driver, enabling mountain villagers to receive medical treatment at home.

Door-to-door medical services have been provided in Da'anshan for about eight years, benefitting more than 70,000 villagers and establishing health files for over 3,700 people.

Zhang Chunping, a villager with cerebral palsy, cannot afford his medical bills, so the medical team decided to use acupuncture, physical therapy and massage to relieve his pain while minimizing the prescription of drugs to reduce the cost.

For the communities in Da'anshan Township scattered in the mountains, each medical team spends half a day in each community providing door-to-door medical services, which is demanding work, especially for greenhorns.

"Many medical workers at Da'anshan health center are in their 20s and 30s. They are still adapting to the tough working environment in the mountains, but it is our mission to lend a hand to mountain villagers and relieve their pain," Wang said.

To help young medical staff learn faster, the health center invites retired doctors in downtown Beijing to mentor the young medical workers in the health center.

Wang was elected as a deputy to Beijing Municipal People's Congress in 2017, advocating for a better salary for medical workers in mountainous areas. "Many of them can find jobs outside the mountains, but they insist on living in the mountains to offer medical services to local villagers," Wang said.

All the medical staff in mountain health centers are admirable, who never shy away from confronting difficulties, Wang added. "I hope more young health workers can join us to improve the well-being of mountain villagers."

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