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Family doctors prove to be the right remedy

(China Daily)

10:50, November 02, 2012

Shanghai leads the way in promoting community GPs

Mei Xingmei does not have to be asked twice why she has grown fond of her family doctor.

"They listen to me," the 64-year-old Shanghai resident said. "That's unheard of at a hospital - a doctor listening to a patient.

"There, you have to wait for hours, and when I finally see a doctor they are already writing a prescription before I've finished talking."

Mei, who has several medical conditions, including hypertension, is among the 2 million people citywide who have signed up with family doctors.

Shanghai took the lead in promoting the system in May 2011 when it introduced licensed general practitioners, or GPs, at community health centers in several districts. This allows residents to receive medical advice and treatment in or near their communities, easing the pressure on large, often overloaded hospitals.

Chinese people are used to going to hospitals for everything, from a serious illness to just a light cold. Mei said she no longer has to.

Mei, who has several medical conditions, including hypertension, is among the 2 million people citywide who have signed up with family doctors.

Shanghai took the lead in promoting the system in May 2011 when it introduced licensed general practitioners, or GPs, at community health centers in several districts. This allows residents to receive medical advice and treatment in or near their communities, easing the pressure on large, often overloaded hospitals.

Chinese people are used to going to hospitals for everything, from a serious illness to just a light cold. Mei said she no longer has to.

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