City aims high for the best public health system

Chen Huizhi
Shanghai vows to become one of the best cities in the world for public health by 2025.
Chen Huizhi

When key public health emergencies happen, the city's medical institutions will ensure that treatment is provided for patients before payments, government said on Thursday.

The city launched its health care development plan through 2025 on Thursday, in which it vows to become one of the cities in the world with the best public health systems by 2025.

"We will make sure that in times of public health emergencies, no patient will be left out by medical services due to payment problems," Zong Ming, vice mayor of Shanghai, told a press conference.

The city will establish a command center and a material storage center for public health emergencies, improve the mechanisms of monitoring and alerts about such emergencies and better prepare medical institutions and communities.

In terms of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, Zong said mass vaccination is working.

As of Wednesday, about 20 million people – or 90 percent of the city's population above 18 – have been fully vaccinated.

Xia Kejia, director of the Shanghai Health Care Security Administration, said the city's medical insurance fund has allocated 3.1 billion yuan (US$480 million) for buying vaccines.

Hospital on palm

The city is also committed to improving the quality of overall medical services for its residents and to significantly enhance its innovation in medicine.

Wu Jinglei, director of Shanghai Health Commission, said the digitalization of medical services will gradually enable people to see a doctor with only their mobile phones.

Now, digital medical insurance cards have enabled people to pay for prescribed medicines and health checks with their mobile phones, and in the future, people will be able to look up their diagnoses and hospitalization summaries on their phones as their medical records will be shared across different medical institutions, Wu said.

And soon, people taken to hospital by ambulance will have their health data read by devices in the ambulances delivered the the hospital in real time.

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