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Family doctors the future of China's healthcare system

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-02-26 15:16

It called for improving distribution of health resources and basic services, promoting health resources at the rural and grassroots level, developing telemedicine, and promoting family doctors and electronic health records.

According to Dong Fang, head of the grassroots health services office of the Health and Family Planning Commission of Liaoning province, family doctors can diagnose and treat common diseases such as a cold or cough, and help patients recovering after major surgery at big hospitals.

"Family doctors have provided local residents with better medical services and also encouraged better use of China's limited health resources," said Fu Hongpeng, researcher with China National Health Development Research Center.

According to Fu, family doctors have partly filled the gap between the the large number of patients and limited hospitals.

Zhu Lan has become friends with many of her patients since becoming a family doctor. Many longtime patients who have moved out of the neighborhood still come to her for treatment.

"They trust me," said Zhu. "The tension between doctors and patients will be eased when trust is built."

"I will keep being a family doctor, and I believe it is the future trend for China's health care system," she added.

Li Bin, head of China's Health and Family Planning Commission, said that the government is making efforts to provide each Chinese family a family doctor by 2020.

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