Health within reach

By ALEXIS HOOI,WANG LINYAN and MA ZHENHUAN in Jiaxing, Zhejiang | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-10-20 11:06
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Local communities benefit from latest investments in convenient, high-tech medical services

Editor's note: With its people-centered philosophy, China will build the eastern province of Zhejiang into a demonstration zone for achieving common prosperity. This series looks at the latest steps taken in various areas to meet that goal.

Several times a week, Yang Jinbao, 78, takes a brief stroll from her home to see her family physician.

"We keep track of her condition carefully," physician Zhang Liqiang said. "She has high blood pressure, and that can actually go up after a 20-minute walk, so it's really good that she's close by."

Zhang is a doctor at the "intelligent health center" in Yaozhuang township of Jiashan county in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province.

The center is a community medical facility where visiting hospital doctors such as Zhang attend to patients. Yang and others in the community have access to state-of-the-art healthcare equipment and services, including digital diagnostic systems, artificial intelligence robotic assistants, integrated biometric medical records and prescription delivery networks. Residents can also participate in tai chi and other wellness programs and activities.

"I check in as much as I can. I also get advice on my dietary needs and lifestyle in general," Yang said.

Wang Lijun, deputy head of Yaozhuang township, said, "This intelligent facility, which covers the 20,000 residents of the local community, is a one-stop center for health services and acts as our first line of defense, because good health starts with daily, healthy living and disease prevention."

The center is a building block of Jiashan county's major medical development drive, bringing together advanced health capabilities to form an urban-rural loop of prevention and treatment services. This is in line with the nation's "Healthy China 2030 Initiative", which aims to boost public health services and related sectors over the next decade.

The city of Jiaxing is already at the forefront of implementing a wide range of measures to foster common prosperity in the next crucial stages of the country's inclusive development.

In August, a meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping of the Central Committee for Financial and Economic Affairs outlined steps to promote common prosperity via high-quality growth, using a phased approach to reach the target.

Zhejiang, one of China's most-developed provinces, has been designated a demonstration zone to explore a new path for common prosperity and to show how the country can tackle unbalanced and inadequate development.

The province has a target of achieving common prosperity by 2035, with its per capita gross domestic product and the income and standard of living of urban and rural residents reaching those of developed countries.

Healthcare and medical services form an integral part of the drive for common prosperity. In Jiashan, a two-year effort to integrate and share rural-urban capabilities now includes at least five county-level hospitals and more than 100 community health service centers and stations.

The latest investments in the medical sector include more than 3 billion yuan ($470 million) for hospitals as well as women's and children's facilities, disease control and prevention centers and blood stations, and nearly 40 million yuan annually for medical subsidies and incentives, equipment upgrades and grassroots programs, according to county authorities.

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