Doc­tor-shar­ing mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in Ti­betan hos­pi­tals

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By PALDEN NYIMA and DAQIONG in Lhasa

While await­ing surgery to re­move tu­mors from her uterus, Ti­betan Lingkyi Drolkar said she was pleased to hear that it was a doc­tor from Beijing who would per­form the op­er­a­tion.

“I heard Lhasa Peo­ple’s Hospi­tal had been sent doc­tors from Beijing as part of an aid pro­gram, so I chose this hospi­tal for my surgery,” the 49-year-old said.

Since 1995, China’s cen­tral gov­ern­ment has been send­ing doc­tors to the Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous re­gion to im­prove its health­care sys­tem.

Last year, the Com­mu­nist Party of China Cen­tral Com­mit­tee’s Or­ga­ni­za­tion Depart­ment ex­panded the Aid-Ti­bet Pro­gram.

As part of the pro­gram, 16 med­i­cal teams con­sist­ing of more than 300 doc­tors were dis­patched to Ti­bet over the past 15 months by the Beijing Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sion of Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning. The first batch was re­lieved by a sec­ond group of 179 doc­tors in July.

They have come from some of Beijing’s best hos­pi­tals and have been dis­trib­uted among seven key hos­pi­tals in Ti­bet’s cities and pre­fec­tures.

Yu Yabin, a pe­di­a­tri­cian from the Beijing Ob­stet­rics and Gyne­col­ogy Hospi­tal, is one of 15 doc­tors who were as­signed to Lhasa Peo­ple’s Hospi­tal. She works along­side three other Beijing doc­tors in the ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy depart­ment.

“Ti­betan pa­tients al­ways show deep grat­i­tude to­ward doc­tors, which is rarely seen else­where,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to per­form­ing surg­eries, the vis­it­ing doc­tors have a se­condary role train­ing lo­cal med­i­cal staff — some­thing that they hadn’t been re­quired to do in the past.

Ev­ery Tues­day and Thurs­day, 32-year-old Lyu Tao — an­other Beijing doc­tor work- ing in the ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy depart­ment of Lhasa Peo­ple’s Hospi­tal, who came to Ti­bet six months ago from Beijing Ts­inghua Chang Gung Hospi­tal — op­er­ates on pa­tients while be­ing ob­served by three lo­cal doc­tors.

In the first week Yu Yabin’s team was in Ti­bet, a 2-year-old suf­fer­ing from pneu­mo­nia was treated.

The child had swal­lowed a melon seed that was stuck in his wind­pipe.

As the hospi­tal in Lhasa did not have a bron­cho­scope — a piece of med­i­cal equip­ment that is used to in­spect and pass other in­stru­ments into the air­ways — the doc­tors were una- ble re­move the seed.

Yu asked Beijing Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal to lend them a pro­fes­sional bron­cho­scope, which the team was able to use to op­er­ate on the child two weeks later.

To pre­vent a re­peat of such events, Yu’s team bought a new bron­cho­scope for the hospi­tal’s pe­di­atrics depart­ment and trained two lo­cal doc­tors to use it.

The team’s next goal is to set up a di­ag­no­sis cen­ter for heart dis­ease.

“They have a solid foun­da­tion here, but there is a lack of high-tech de­vices, so we hope to cre­ate a car­diac care unit in the hospi­tal,” said Yu, adding that they were also fo­cused on im­prov­ing the level of pre­na­tal care in the re­gion.

“With the thin air and risk of high blood pres­sure, it is im­por­tant to en­cour­age Ti­bet- an preg­nant women to have reg­u­lar ex­am­i­na­tions.”

Con­tact the writ­ers at palden_ny­ima@ chi­


Yu Yabin, a pe­di­a­tri­cian from Beijing Ob­stet­rics and Gyne­col­ogy Hospi­tal, con­ducts a health check on a Ti­betan girl.

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