Ac­com­plished doc­tor finds re­wards in re­mote re­gion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By CHINA DAILY

The van started and grad­u­ally drove away, but Ye Ying didn’t look back. It wasn’t be­cause she didn’t want to. She was afraid she couldn’t hold back the tears when she saw her beloved fam­ily see­ing her off in the cold Fe­bru­ary wind in Xuzhou, Jiangsu prov­ince.

Ye, 47, chief physi­cian in the in­ten­sive care unit of the Hos­pi­tal af­fil­i­ated with Xuzhou Med­i­cal Univer­sity, is the only woman among the 20 doc­tors on as­sign­ment for a year and a half to sup­port med­i­cal devel­op­ment at Peo­ple’s Hos­pi­tal of Kezilesu Kir­giz au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture in the Xinjiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion.

“I had a fierce in­ner strug­gle when I was heard about the as­sis­tance as­sign­ment. My par­ents and par­ents-in-law are in their 80s and need my care,” she said. “My daugh­ter is ap­ply­ing for the grad­u­ate school at a med­i­cal univer­sity and needs my coach­ing.”

Ye re­lo­cated from Xuzhou to the far west­ern bor­der of China in Fe­bru­ary to as­sist Xinjiang in its devel­op­ment of med­i­cal ser­vices. Ac­cord­ing to Jiangsu Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, 580 high-level med­i­cal ex­perts like Ye have been sent to Xinjiang since 1997. They are part of a na­tional as­sis­tance cam­paign to help the re­gion de­velop.

When Ye ar­rived in the bor­der area, she found that lo­cal peo­ple lacked the most ba­sic health in­for­ma­tion, which in many cases led to dis­ease. That’s why Ye strongly ad­vo­cates mak­ing health checks avail­able free, even at a herds­man’s doorstep if ne­c­es­sary.

The homes of herds­men are re­mote, with long dis­tances in be­tween. Usu­ally un­reach­able by any sort of mod­ern trans­porta­tion, the out­siders may walk many kilo­me­ters to con­nect with a res­i­dent.

There’s no ex­am­i­na­tion ta­ble. A pa­tient get­ting an exam is more likely to be sit- ting on the ground, and a doc­tor may have to kneel to get a blood pres­sure read­ing.

“Most doc­tors are ob­ses­sive about clean­li­ness. But the first time we went there, we were ap­palled at how poor the san­i­tary con­di­tions were,” Ye said. “Ac­cess to run­ning wa­ter is too big a re­quest. For fol­low-up health checks, we would carry our own an­ti­sep­tic liq­uids and wa­ter.”

Though far from her home and fam­ily, Ye per­sists. Her rel­a­tives are un­der­stand­ing.

“It’s my par­ents who first en­cour­aged me to take up the as­sign­ment. My fa­ther, who is also a doc­tor, even went to the hos­pi­tal to tell me to go to Xinjiang. He has the ded­i­ca­tion of the old gen­er­a­tion of doc­tors,” Ye said.

Though the task is not easy, Ye has no re­grets. “My per­sonal sac­ri­fice is for the ben­e­fit of many more,” she said.

Li Lei con­trib­uted to this story.

XU ZHUZHU / FOR CHINA DAILY

Liu Wei­hua, an eye doc­tor from Bei­jing Ton­gren Hos­pi­tal, checks a res­i­dent of Hotan, in the Xinjiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion, ear­lier this month.

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