Physi­cians to re­ceive hos­pi­tal shares as pay­ment

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By WANG HONGYI and WANG YING wanghongyi@chi­ wang_y­ing@chi­

Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Cen­ter re­cently an­nounced a new sys­tem that will al­low ex­pe­ri­enced physi­cians to of­fer their skills for shares in the hos­pi­tal, the lat­est move by the city to test med­i­cal re­form and meet grow­ing di­ver­si­fied med­i­cal needs.

“The new mode, which has al­ready been very com­mon in de­vel­oped coun­tries, is still fresh in China,” said Zhang Chengyu, pres­i­dent of the med­i­cal cen­ter. “Un­der the new mode, physi­cians will be­come share­hold­ers, and our cen­ter will pro­vide a wider devel­op­ment plat­form for physi­cians’ ca­reer path devel­op­ment and eco­nomic achieve­ments.”

The med­i­cal cen­ter, a pri­vate hos­pi­tal, of­fi­cially opened in March 2014, is lo­cated in the Pudong In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Zone, one of the city’s two med­i­cal zones where pri­vate and joint-ven­ture hos­pi­tals of­fer high-end med­i­cal and health­care ser­vices.

The med­i­cal cen­ter is seen as an ex­per­i­men­tal plot for the city to deepen its med­i­cal re­form through ex­plor­ing more in­no­va­tive ways in op­er­a­tion and man­age­ment that dif­fer from most tra­di­tional public hos­pi­tals.

For ex­am­ple, the cen­ter now is testing the city’s re­form scheme al­low­ing physi­cians to prac­tice medicine in more than one med­i­cal fa­cil­ity. So far, more than 100 top doc­tors from the city’s lead­ing public hos­pi­tals have been work­ing at Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Cen­ter, which pro­vides a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment and bet­ter ser­vice for pa­tients that are ab­sent from tra­di­tional hos­pi­tals.

It has al­ways been a headache for most Chi­nese pa­tients to see a doc­tor in Chi­nese public hos­pi­tals that are of­ten crowded ev­ery day. Pa­tients have to wait for sev­eral hours to see a doc­tor but the com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the doc­tor is brief. For pa­tients who want to see top doc­tors, they have to make an ap­point­ment far in ad­vance, some even up to half a year.

“The med­i­cal ser­vice time for each pa­tient in our cen­ter is at least 20 min­utes, which al­lows pa­tients to have more com­mu­ni­ca­tion with doc­tors. This is very hard to achieve in most public hos­pi­tals,” Zhang said.

The cen­ter re­cently in­tro­duced a new ser­vice to nar­row pa­tient’s wait­ing time for surgery. Pa­tients can send their med­i­cal treat­ment records and re­lated test re­ports to the cen­ter via In­ter­net, and they can book a sur­gi­cal op­er­a­tion as soon as they meet surgery re­quire­ments.

In re­cent years, China’s au­thor­i­ties have be­gun to en­cour­age more so­cial cap­i­tal to en­ter into med­i­cal ser­vice sec­tors that ex­pand and en­rich med­i­cal re­sources and help meet di­ver­si­fied de­mand.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials, pa­tients with spe­cial med­i­cal de­mands will­ing to pay higher costs flow into the high-end med­i­cal ser­vice mar­ket, while tra­di­tional public hos­pi­tals work to meet res­i­dents’ ba­sic med­i­cal needs.

“The high-end med­i­cal ser­vice should act as com­ple­ment to the ex­ist­ing med­i­cal sys­tem, for higher end in­come so­cial groups,” said Gao Jiechun, pres­i­dent of Hos­pi­tal Man­age­ment In­sti­tute, Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity.

So far, Shang­hai has a num­ber of pri­vate and joint-ven­ture hos­pi­tals and clin­ics of­fer­ing high­end med­i­cal ser­vices. Pre­vi­ously, Ger­man health­care op­er­a­tor and med­i­cal prod­uct provider Artemed Group also an­nounced that it would set up a hos­pi­tal in the China (Shang­hai) Pi­lot Free Trade Zone.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­search data from Shang­hai Devel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion, the high-end med­i­cal ser­vice mar­ket size will reach 16.5 to 18.5 bil­lion yuan.

Of­fi­cials said the sup­ply of high-end med­i­cal ser­vice is still lag­ging, and do not fully meet needs.

In ad­di­tion to en­cour­age pri­vate and joint-ven­ture hos­pi­tals to meet grow­ing high-end med­i­cal de­mand, Shang­hai is also ac­tively pro­mot­ing the progress of cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy in med­i­cal treat­ment.

Ear­lier in May, the Shang­hai Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter (SPHIC), also known as the Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter of Fu­dan Uni­ver­sity Shang­hai Can­cer Cen­ter (FUSCC), which of­fers par­ti­cle ther­apy to can­cer pa­tients, an­nounced its launch in the city. As the state-of-art tech­nol­ogy to deal with tu­mors, it uses par­ti­cle ther­apy to treat can­cer­ous cells by fir­ing beams of pro­tons or heavy ions. This tech­nol­ogy is avail­able in very few coun­tries, such as Ger­many and Ja­pan.

By the end of 2014, there were a to­tal of 123,193 pa­tients around the world who ac­cepted pro­ton or heavy-ion ther­apy treat­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to the cen­ter, a sin­gle course of par­ti­cle ther­apy is priced at 278,000 yuan per per­son. The cen­ter has re­ceived sev­eral thou­sands of on-site and tele­phone en­quiries in the first 11 days un­til May 21.

“As of May 20, we re­ceived 12 pa­tients, aged be­tween 23 and 68,” said Lyu Li­lang, vi­cepres­i­dent of the Shang­hai Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter.

“Dif­fer­ent from most Chi­nese med­i­cal cen­ters, we will es­tab­lish a long-term treat­ment re­la­tion­ship with our clients even af­ter they fin­ish their treat­ments,” said Lyu.

She added that the cen­ter will track the con­di­tions of their pa­tients for as long as five years to eval­u­ate their re­cov­ery and treat­ment ef­fects, as well as carry out fu­ture re­search and build devel­op­ment records.

The cen­ter is ex­pected to ac­cept 1,000 pa­tients per year af­ter its first three years of trial op­er­a­tion.

“There will be great de­mand for such high-end med­i­cal ser­vices in the fu­ture. And the devel­op­ment of high-end med­i­cal ser­vice can­not live with­out the gov­ern­ment’s guid­ance and pol­icy, so­cial cap­i­tal in­vest­ment as well as the devel­op­ment of doc­tor, fa­cil­i­ties and ser­vice,” said Gao.


The Shang­hai Pro­ton and Heavy Ion Cen­ter re­ceived 1,454 on the spot en­quiries from May 11 to May 21, and han­dled 3,445 tele­phone en­quiries.

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