Sup­port from out­side giv­ing way to bet­ter train­ing within the re­gion it­self

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

Pa­tients di­ag­nosed in the Xinjiang Uygur au­ton­o­mous re­gion with a dan­ger­ous type of gall­stone once had to travel to the cap­i­tal, Urumqi, or even to an­other prov­ince, for treat­ment be­cause of a short­age of spe­cial­ists.

The costs in­volved meant that many suf­fer­ers sim­ply sol­diered on with a con­di­tion that, if left un­treated, could re­sult in a deadly in­fec­tion.

Yet that all changed in 2015 when Uygur sur­geon Meme­tur­son Barat re­turned from a year­long train­ing pro­gram in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince, which was or­ga­nized as part of a cen­tral govern­ment ef­fort to cul­ti­vate med­i­cal re­sources in Xinjiang.

“When med­i­cal treat­ment is avail­able on your doorstep, it saves peo­ple so much trou­ble and tons of money,” said Barat, 32, who now spe­cial­izes in di­ges­tive medicine at No 1 Peo­ple’s Hos­pi­tal in the bor­der city of Kash­gar.

A num­ber of pa­tients in the north­west­ern re­gion with se­ri­ous con­di­tions have seen sim­i­lar changes in re­cent years, ac­cord­ing to Wang Jun­hua, deputy di­rec­tor of the train­ing cen­ter at Xinjiang Women and Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

“In re­mote parts of the re­gion, the mor­tal­ity rate for women dur­ing child­birth is higher than in cities be­cause of the lack of med­i­cal staff and ex­per­tise. Most of the deaths are pre­ventable,” she said.

Peo­ple can get surg­eries like esophageal for­eign body ex­trac­tion and EMR (a pro­ce­dure to re­move polyps in the di­ges­tive tract) from lo­cal doc­tors in Kash­gar af­ter more em­pha­sis was placed on

We have been ... chang­ing from get­ting blood trans­fu­sions to form­ing blood on our own.” Yin Yulin, deputy di­rec­tor of Xinjiang Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion

coach­ing lo­cal med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als through the Xinjiang health as­sis­tance pro­gram.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, more than 10,000 pro­fes­sion­als have re­ceived train­ing through the pro­gram, which has paired hos­pi­tals in the re­gion with those in ma­jor cities since 2012.

Over the pe­riod, some 3,300 med­i­cal train­ers from other prov­inces have been sent to Xinjiang, and around 590 lo­cal pro­fes­sion­als have stud­ied out­side the re­gion.

The med­i­cal as­sis­tance pro­gram for Xinjiang kicked off more than two decades ago. Nearly 50,000 med­i­cal ex­perts from around China have been sent to the re­gion, but the lack of ca­pa­ble doc­tors and med­i­cal ex­per­tise is still one of the fac­tors hold­ing back Xinjiang’s health and med­i­cal progress, be­cause when the ex­perts leave con­di­tions slide back to their orig­i­nal lev­els.

In 2011, the cen­tral govern­ment brought a new as­sis­tance pro­gram to Xinjiang. It re­quires 19 prov­inces, mu­nic-

Li Lei con­trib­uted to this story.

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