Pi­o­neer­ing Xiangya Hos­pi­tal shows a model of ru­ral health­care re­form

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - HUNAN SPECIAL - By HAO NAN and FENG ZHI­WEI

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 hao­nan@chi­nadaily.com.cn and fengzhi­wei@chi­nadaily. com.cn

Sign­ing cer­e­mony for a med­i­cal re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion center built by the hos­pi­tal and its part­ners in Cen­tral China.

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