Policy changes improve accessibility of clinical services across nation

Updated: Sep 22, 2023 By Li Wenfang Print
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More flexible service hours at grassroots medical institutions have become available across the country as a result of measures to upgrade convenience for patients which were launched in early August.

For example, community health service centers in Shanghai now provide clinical services between 11:30 and 1:30 on workdays and some of them offer nighttime clinical service on workdays, said Zhu Hongming, deputy director of the primary care department of the National Health Commission, at a news conference in Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Thursday.

Their clinical service has also been extended to weekends, he said.

More types of services have become available at grassroots medical institutions. In Beijing, some specialized departments, such as those on hypertension and type 2 diabetes, have been set up as a result of cooperation with higher-level medical institutions.

Long-term prescription now covers more types of chronic diseases at grassroots medical institutions in places such as Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.

The service for elderly people has been upgraded. Some township-level medical institutions in Xinxiang, Henan province now operate an office which now sends its workers for procedural matters on behalf of the elderly and handicapped people who have difficulty moving around, Zhu said.

In Guangdong province, higher-level medical institutions are required to allocate about 30 percent of their appointment quotas to grassroots family physicians so that they can better serve their patients in need, said Wang Hongbin, deputy director of the provincial health commission.

Family physicians at the community health service center in Shayuan subdistrict in Guangzhou are now able to make appointments within a week for patients with doctors at a number of departments at the Zhujiang Hospital of the South Medical University, said Wang Xiaoyi, director of the center.

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