Pioneering Xiangya Hospital shows a model of rural healthcare reform
Xiangya Hospital, the only organization for Western medical practices set up by the Yale- China Association in China, has made national headlines many times as a model of healthcare reform.
Established in 1906, the hospital is now affiliated with prestigious Central South University in Changsha, capital of Central China’s Hunan province. It has more than 80 clinics, 3,500 beds and a healthcare staff of nearly 5,000.
In response to the central government’s call for balanced resources and affordable medical care nationwide, Xiangya has explored new approaches to reform.
“Our reform initiatives have greatly stimulated the working enthusiasm of doctors and nurses, which conforms to the direction of the future medical market,” said Sun Hong, director general of the hospital.
The motivation and confidence in reform came after strategic analyses of government policies, trends and the hospital’s own situation, he said.
Experts say reforming public hospitals is the hardest task in the entire medical system. During an on-site investigation early this year, experts with the Research Center for Labor and Social Security said Xiangya’s pioneering attempts could be a valuable example to other hospitals.
The problem of access to affordable medical care for ordinary people is nearly universal, particularly at quality public hospitals. The large population, imbalanced distribution of quality medical resources and current operating approaches are mainly to blame, said the experts.
To ease the overload in large public hospitals, Xiangya is cooperating with a local private hospital by sharing its brand and high-quality facilities.
According to the agreement, Xiangya will manage the private hospital until 2031 and be responsible for development plans, major decisions, staff training and technical support.
With most qualified doctors working in large public hospitals in cities, the lack of professionals in community and rural clinics is another obstacle to healthcare reform.
To help with hiring experienced doctors, Xiangya has assisted grassroots medical providers in raising their professional standards and expanding human resources.
It provides them with theoretical lectures, special seminars, remote training and case discussions. It also helps them improve services by identifying healthcare technologies that are suitable for them.
It also organized countylevel hospitals, township health centers and community health stations to share clinical examination information and large medical facilities.
Xiangya Hospital has supported medical facilities in five counties and five communities in Hunan as well as nine provinces across the country. It has also given free training to nearly 2,000 community medical practitioners in the last three years.
Our reform initiatives have greatly stimulated the working enthusiasm of doctors and nurses, which conforms to the direction of the future medical market.” SUN HONG DIRECTOR GENERAL XIANGYA HOSPITAL
Contact the writers at firstname.lastname@example.org and fengzhiwei@chinadaily. com.cn
Signing ceremony for a medical rehabilitation center built by the hospital and its partners in Central China.