More pa­tients sign with fam­ily doc­tors

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­

More than a third of Bei­jing’s per­ma­nent res­i­dents were cov­ered by fam­ily doc­tor ser­vices as of the end of last year, ac­cord­ing to the Mu­nic­i­pal Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The over­all health of Bei­jing’s pop­u­la­tion has im­proved greatly since 2009, when China launched a se­ries of pro­grams to pro­mote the equal­iza­tion of ba­sic public health ser­vices na­tion­wide, said Liu Ze­jun, a mem­ber of the Bei­jing com­mis­sion who is in charge of disease pre­ven­tion and con­trol, at a news con­fer­ence on Mon­day.

Last year, av­er­age life ex­pectancy in Bei­jing in­creased to more than 82 years, up from 80.4 in 2009, while the in­fant mor­tal­ity rate de­creased to 2.21 per thou­sand last year, from 3.49 per thou­sand in 2009 — a level sim­i­lar to that of de­vel­oped coun­tries, he said.

By the end of last year, 3.84 mil­lion house­holds in Bei­jing, or 7.7 mil­lion res­i­dents, had signed up for fam­ily doc­tor ser­vices at com­mu­nity health cen­ters, ac­count­ing for more than 35 per­cent of the city’s per­ma­nent pop­u­la­tion, Liu said.

China car­ried out a se­ries of public health pro­grams in 2009 to cope with in­creas­ing health chal­lenges, such as heav­ier bur­dens caused by non­in­fec­tious chronic dis­eases and an ag­ing pop­u­la­tion, said Gao Guang­ming, deputy chief for com­mu­nity health af­fairs at the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

The ser­vices, of­fered free by grass­roots health in­sti­tu­tions, in­clude es­tab­lish­ing elec­tronic health records and pro­vid­ing vac­ci­na­tions for in­fants, as well as pre­na­tal health check­ups, he said. mil­lion

More than 76 per­cent of peo­ple in China had health records by the end of 2015, he said. More than 88 mil­lion pa­tients with hyper­ten­sion were un­der man­age­ment by grass­roots health providers by the end of 2015, two and a half times that in 2010, Gao said.

In re­cent years, new ser­vices, such as those of­fered by fam­ily doc­tors, have be­come part of ba­sic public health ser­vices in places such as Bei­jing and Tian­jin, ac­cord­ing to the na­tional health author­ity.

Chang Yi, di­rec­tor of the health cen­ter in the Nan­mo­fang com­mu­nity in Bei­jing’s Chaoyang dis­trict, said 56,000 peo­ple in the com­mu­nity, nearly half of all res­i­dents, have signed up with fam­ily doc­tors since 2010.

“All the res­i­dents must have their health records es­tab­lished at the com­mu­nity health cen­ter be­fore sign­ing with fam­ily doc­tors,” Chang said. “They can en­joy free ser­vices in­clud­ing health check­ups, chronic disease man­age­ment and re­fer­rals to top-grade hos­pi­tals by their doc­tors when nec­es­sary.”

Lu Ji­jun, a gen­eral prac­ti­tioner at the health cen­ter in Tian­jin’s Youy­ilu com­mu­nity, said more than 3,000 peo­ple there have signed up for fam­ily doc­tor ser­vices since June 1.

The fee is 120 yuan ($17.60) a year, but af­ter gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies, it comes to less than 20 yuan, she said.

res­i­dents in Bei­jing had signed up for fam­ily doc­tor ser­vices at com­mu­nity health cen­ters as of 2016.

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