China / Society

Medical alliance launched to aid rural patients

By WANG XIAODONG ( Updated: 2016-07-27 12:28

The first internet-based alliance of hepatobiliary disease clinics in China was established on Tuesday.

It is expected to bring high quality medical expertise closer to the country’s estimated 200 million patients living with diseases affecting the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts.

The alliance, which currently includes 26 provincial-level hospitals, aims to integrate medical resources and share data so rural patients can enjoy medical services of a similar quality to those available in big cities, according to Dong Jiahong, executive president of Beijing Tsinghua Changgung Hospital, which leads the alliance.

Members of the alliance will also organize the training of doctors at grassroots hospitals and clinics throughout China, and introduce international medical resources to improve medical care for hepatobiliary patients, Dong said.

"The establishment of the alliance is an innovation in China’s existing medical care model," said Zhang Yanling, president of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association.

"We hope the new model can eventually benefit the vast number of patients suffering from liver or biliary diseases."

Medical resources in China are notoriously unevenly distributed, with overcrowding rife at major public hospitals in big cities.

According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning, more than half the patients at some hospitals in the capital have come from elsewhere in the country for treatment.

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