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Promoting poverty alleviation by improving healthcare by Liu Yizhou,May 20, 2020 Adjust font size:


Editors Notes: Fifty-two of China’s counties and 2,707 of its villages currently remain in poverty. The country’s poverty-stricken population is much smaller than it was in the past, but the people in this group are some of the poorest of the poor and are not easy to help out of poverty. Senior citizens, people with illnesses, and people with disabilities constitute 45.7 percent of the nation’s impoverished citizens at present, which can make poverty alleviation more difficult. What is the current annual plan for China’s impoverished counties? How can poverty reduction industries develop and consolidate? How can the problem of students dropping out of school be addressed? How can better social insurance be provided to impoverished people? How can cleaner water and safer housing be made available in rural areas? How can people with disabilities be better cared for? China's Poverty Reduction Online website publishes the stories of five officials who are currently engaged in poverty alleviation work in various impoverished counties in order to answer these questions and elucidate the process. The following is the last story in the series from Zhang Zhijun, deputy magistrate of Shache county, Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.


People here didn’t see a doctor if they had minor or even major illnesses and would not go to a hospital unless the situation became critical. Health problems often affected people’s livelihoods in Shache county, Kashgar prefecture, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, as a result of this practice. The clinics in its villages were also ill-equipped in the past and only made it possible to perform rudimentary procedures.


Shache is located in southwestern Xinjiang and has the largest population and area of any county in the region. Many of its poverty-stricken families ended up as such as a result of illness, and some reverted to an impoverished state after escaping it as a result of health problems, which made poverty alleviation work very difficult in the county. The government has been increasing healthcare funding in order to enhance its basic medical service system, improve the medicare network in its rural areas, and promote poverty alleviation.

Village clinics basically consisted of a table, a doctor, and a stethoscope in the past. I visited Qiatuke village in Arelle township recently. A resident named Gulimire Tuersun told me with a smile: “Both outpatient care and inpatient care are available now in the township health center, which is also equipped with triplex ultrasound and other technologies. What a change!”


Now in Shache, each of its 31 townships has a quality public health center, and each of its 493 villages features a standardized clinic. Patients can choose from the minimum of 80 different kinds of commonly used medicine that are available at the clinics and use their social security cards to purchase it.


A mentoring system called “1,000 doctors support 1,000 villages” has been implemented in Shache in recent years in order to improve the abilities of grassroots medical practitioners and provide greater assistance to patients. Experts come from county seat hospitals and even Shanghai, and conduct regular training sessions and workshops for village practitioners, and a total of 1,565 medical professionals in seven groups have seen patients 202,910 times since September 2019.


The village clinics in the county now feature much better equipment, and the staff who work at them have improved their abilities. It became necessary to consider payment issues, however, because the local residents could not necessarily afford to go to them. To address the issues, we have implemented a preferential policy allowing eligible urban and rural residents to receive medical treatment without paying the treatment fees upfront. In the meantime, we have created a quick channel for impoverished people who need to get admitted into a hospital. They only need to show their IDs at outpatient care, which decreases the need for them to take on medical debt.


It is necessary to ensure that everyone has access to quality healthcare services in order to achieve a moderately prosperous society. Members of the public should be able to see doctors easily and be encouraged to develop a sense of well-being in order to improve medical care in rural areas.


Free standardized examinations will continue to be provided in 2020. Follow-up appointments, door-to-door services, and a contractual family doctor system will help realize “early detection and diagnosis of problems and rapid writing of referrals” so that the public can enjoy the benefits of good healthcare that the Communist Party’s policies have helped to promote.



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