Family doctor system likely to cover local children

Flu outbreaks have made seeing a pediatrician a matter of concern and the health commission says it is placing great emphasis on improving services.

The city's community family doctor system is likely to cover local children after seniors aged above 60 are included, according to the health and family planning commission.

Flu outbreaks between the end of last year and the start of this year have made the difficulty of seeing a pediatrician a matter of public concern.

Wu Jinglei, director of the commission, said the number of child patients is often influenced by seasons and there were surges in summer and winter. The city government places great emphasis on the improvement of pediatric services, Wu said. Four hundred beds were added to pediatric wards in local hospitals in 2016 and last year another 406 were added.

Pediatric resources will continue to expand in future with the possibility of including children in the current family doctor system in local communities, said Wu.

He said the pediatric service had already expanded to communities, with suburban Minhang District as an example. Almost all community health centers there had opened pediatric sections, greatly relieving the burden on children's hospitals.

Wu said that last year the number of complaints about local pediatric services had gone down. Experts from hospitals are also introducing their ideas on the prevention and treatment of children's diseases to communities.

Shanghai introduced family doctor services in 2011 and in 2015, a “1+1+1” healthcare project was applied to supplement the existing system with preferential policies including easier referral to specialists and cheaper medicines introduced. The project allows residents to sign up with a family doctor at local community health centers, and choose another district-level and city-level hospital for specialist services.

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