Pilot health groups try to cure public fear of community clinics

11:08, May 29, 2010      

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Diabetes sufferer Tang Ning has cut the cost of his insulin injections by 75 percent.

A year's worth of shots from a large hospital in Zhenjiang city, Jiangsu Province, used to cost more than 4,000 yuan (585 U.S. dollars).

The same course costs only 1,000 yuan a year in a new community clinic.

On top of that, he no longer has to jostle with the crowds who regularly flow into China's large city hospitals, queuing hours for a minute-long consultation with consultant doctors, or for an X-ray.

Lin Feng, director of the health bureau of Zhenjiang City, says the city is helping to pioneer a tiered health system to overcome bottlenecks at big hospitals and stop the huge sums of public money being wasted on overlapping and duplicated services.

"People flood into large hospitals even with light ailments, because they don't trust community health clinics," says Lin.
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