Village doctor injects passion to healthcare

Updated: Mar 6, 2023 Print
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People consult Yang Lianying collects public suggestions for the two sessions at a market last month. [PHOTO BY SUN REN/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Rural doctor Yang Lianying has been carrying around a notebook to write down the suggestions of villagers for this year's two sessions, the annual gatherings of the national legislature and top political advisers, that begin in Beijing at the weekend.

Yang is serving as a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, the country's top legislature.

In 2008, she became the only doctor in Henan village in Honghe Hani and Yi autonomous prefecture, Yunnan province.

Her motions at the NPC focus on issues, such as improving rural health services and supporting vitalization through infrastructure construction and public education.

"Besides guarding the health of villagers, letting their voices be heard is my responsibility," Yang, 42, says.

Henan village has a population of about 2,000, and as households are scattered, she treks on dirt roads to visit patients.

She says most doctors in remote countryside areas face challenges, such as heavy workloads, low salaries and the aging issue.

"Young people don't want to work in villages, and many rural doctors are reaching retirement age," she says, adding that the doctor shortage is an urgent issue.

As doctors play a vital part in improving rural healthcare, Yang is calling for policy support to "encourage young physicians to serve in rural communities".

A document recently released by the general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council says significant progress should be made in the reform and development of the rural medical and healthcare system by 2025. It highlights the application of smart and digital technology.

According to the NPC Standing Committee, 2,977 people from grassroots sectors, like Yang, have been elected deputies to the 14th NPC. They come from the people and represent the people's interests. On Sunday, they will attend the first full session of the 14th NPC, deliberating on reports on the country's crucial economic and political affairs as well as draft laws with the people's interests and social development in mind.

The doctor visits an elder villager with chronic disease. [PHOTO BY SUN REN/FOR CHINA DAILY]


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