High-quality public hospitals attract expatriate patients

Cai Wenjun
Shanghai's Zhongshan Hospital has been named one of the nation's six role models by the National Health Commission.
Cai Wenjun

Shanghai's Zhongshan Hospital has been named one of the nation's six role models by the National Health Commission on public hospital renovation, medical reform, professional capability, talent training and academic communication.

To boost the high-quality development of public hospitals, the national authority has introduced guidelines covering medical quality, efficiency, innovation and smart medicine, and patient satisfaction.

Wen Daxiang, director of the Shanghai Health Commission, said public medical facilities are the major force of local health services, and guarantee the achievement of building Shanghai into a medical center for Asia.

"We are making guidelines on clinical medical system construction, public hospitals' research outcome transformation and cohort studies to provide support to leading public hospitals' process of high-end and research facilities," he said.

To streamline the development of leading public hospitals and nurture service brands with international competency, the Shanghai Health Commission announced the first group of 13 hospitals in November last year.

All hospitals are city-level facilities with high medical capability, strong innovative demands and international service experiences.

Zhongshan Hospital, which is on the list, said talent, innovation, service and hospital culture are its major routes to achieve high-quality development.

In a recent case, a patient from Papua New Guinea came all the way to Zhongshan for care by Dr Zhou Pinghong, a leading expert on endoscopic treatment.

The patient had been diagnosed with a tumor in his intestinal tract in his home country. Doctors suggested an open-cut surgery, which deeply worried the patient. After learning about the capabilities of Zhongshan Hospital, he came to Shanghai and underwent a successful minimally-invasive surgery by Zhou on March 12.

High-quality public hospitals attract expatriate patients
Zhongshan Hosptial / Ti Gong

The patient with Zhongshan Hospital medical staff.

Doctors said the surgery was very delicate, as the position of the tumor was very challenging. It was likened to cutting a bean curd on a balloon.

Dr Zhou Pinghong showed high-end skills in removing the tumor within 20 minutes. The procedure also attracted four visiting experts from Australia, Egypt and Malaysia to witness the surgery for study.

The patient, who was discharged the next day, sent short messages to doctors to express his gratitude, promising to promote the excellent skills of Shanghai doctors back home.

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