Health reforms bring quality care to Chongming

Cai Wenjun
As a part of health reforms, top Shanghai hospitals and local Chongming health services team up to bring Chongming residents high-quality medical care closer to home.
Cai Wenjun

Almost 95 percent of Chongming District patients are able to receive high-quality health services on the island, with over 67 percent of residents going to neighborhood health centers for nearby and convenient services for common and chronic illnesses.

By introducing high-end medical resources from top hospitals in downtown Shanghai, and improving local health services, the district has made it possible for residents to receive treatment for serious and major diseases without leaving the island. They are also eligible for treatment for small diseases without leaving the town. Such measures have been praised by the State Council, China's cabinet, as a successful example for health reform.

"To solve Chongming residents' difficulty in getting good health service, four Chongming hospitals reached cooperation with three top city hospitals downtown. From 2018 to 2021, Chongming carried out 20 new technologies and services in clinical practice each year. The quantity of difficult surgery increases by 20 percent annually. The ambulance transportation of patients from Chongming to downtown Shanghai dropped significantly. Less than 5 percent of patients need to leave the island to seek medical treatment now," said Cai Zhichang, director of Chongming District Health Commission.

Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital and Shanghai Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine opened four branches on the island, introducing high-end technologies and leading experts to Chongming people.

Residents said they are grateful for the convenience of good health services nearby.

"Previously, I had to take a 4-hour bus ride from Chongming to downtown Shanghai for my diabetes. Now, I just undergo regular and good monitoring and treatment at the neighborhood health center. My condition remains stable," said a resident surnamed Chen.

Officials said the regional health service network, a system led by one top hospital and several grassroots facilities, has also been established in Chongming, allowing patients to transfer quickly and effectively within the network. Those with the most complicated conditions will be sent to the headquarters of these top hospitals downtown, after a local medics' evaluation.

In addition, Chongming is also the first in Shanghai to allow the whole network to purchase medicine and medical consumables as a trial. Usually, each hospital makes purchases on its own.

Such measures have greatly reduced cost. Last year, the Xinhua network made three batches of medicine purchases, saving 34.8 million yuan (US$5 million).

Local authorities said they will further promote the "Chongming format" in medicine purchase in a larger scope.

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