Lone doctor dedicated to treating people on remote island for 13 years

(People's Daily Online) 09:50, April 07, 2021

Wang Hui, 36, the only doctor at a health center on a remote island in east China's Shandong province, has been safeguarding the health of the local people for 13 years.

After graduating from Shandong College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2008, Wang started working as a doctor on Xiaoqin Island in Changdao county, Yantai city in the province, about 200 kilometers away from her hometown in Laiyang in the province.

Wang Hui stands in front of the health center on Xiaoqin Island in Changdao county, Yantai city, east China's Shandong province. (Photo/Qilu Evening News)

The island is home to about 500 permanent residents, most of whom are middle-aged and elderly people. As it is isolated from the outside world, it takes the locals about four hours to reach the nearest land by ship, the only transportation method available to them.

When Wang came to the island for the first time, she was troubled by the lack of transportation, poor medical conditions, and insufficient freshwater resources. However, she overcame all these difficulties and has been the only doctor on the island for the past years.

"In the past, Xiaoqin township on the island had four doctors, but they left and returned to the county seat or their hometowns for work transfer or personal reasons, except for Wang Hui," said Wang Renjun, deputy Party head of the township.

Living on the second floor of the health center on the island, she usually starts treating patients at 8 a.m. every day, and sometimes has to provide medical treatment to 30 patients in one day.

Wang has cared for her patients to the best of her ability and sees them as family. Song Liying, an old woman who suffered a sudden cerebral hemorrhage which left her in a vegetative state, was one of them.

It's very difficult for Song's husband to take care of her alone. After learning about her situation, Wang started to look after Song at her home in early 2014. Over the past seven years, Wang always arrived at Song's home at about 6:30 every morning to make liquid food for the elderly woman.

What impressed Wang most was a fisherman who survived an accident. "His bleeding arm bone was exposed,” Wang recalled, saying that she had to immediately stop the bleeding even though she was shocked to see such serious wounds.

Due to poor medical conditions on the island, the patient was transferred to a hospital in another location. "Fortunately, the patient recovered fairly well and could continue to work," she added.

Now, the medical conditions on Xiaoqin Island have been improved, and helicopters are used for medical evacuation missions for critically ill patients on the island.

"I do whatever it takes to relieve patients' pain," Wang said, hoping that new doctors will come to the island and perform surgeries there.

Wang has also long treated the island as her second hometown. Due to her job and the lack of transportation, she seldom leaves the island and usually returns to her home in Laiyang twice a year for about a week each time.

A dedicated and responsible doctor, Wang has won the trust of the local residents.

"Other doctors were not willing to come to the island because of the poor conditions here. For all these years, Wang Hui, a young doctor, has chosen to stay here and has treated the health center as her home. Island residents have a soft spot for her," said 38-year-old Cai Changsheng, a local diver.

"If she leaves the island one day, we will miss her very much," Cai added.

"Life might be humdrum on the small island, but I can realize the value of life as a doctor," Wang said, adding that "I was not a high-flyer and never thought that I would make it big. But the job on the island really fulfills me, and I will do my best to help villagers on the island."

In December 2019, Wang Hui was honored with the title "Most outstanding college graduate for grassroots services" in recognition of her dedication to her job as a responsible doctor on the island.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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