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Primary Care is not Equal to Low Quality

"Pramary Care is not equal to low quality, and it should take development as the top priority." Liu Liqun, the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Primary Care, National Health Commission of China, said so.

LIU Liqun, Deputy Director-General, Department of Primary Care, National Health Commission of China

“Integrating Primary Care Reform and Development - Improving Primary Care Service Capacity”

“In the past ten years, the number of diagnosis and treatment of our entire primary care service has doubled and is continuing to increase.” Liu Liqun pointed out that we must strengthen the grass-roots level and promote the hierarchical medical system. The recent goal is that primary diagnosis and treatment should account for 65%, but there is still a long way in achieving this goal.

Regarding how to improve the ability of primary care services, Liu Liqun suggested that it is necessary to start from aspects of both software and hardware. In terms of hardware, at present, the medical equipment of primary medical institutions is relatively backward. It is necessary to increase investment in primary care, improve the function of township health care services, and implement the subsidy funds to build rural primary care facilities. We should try to leave most of the patients at the grass-roots level, so that small diseases can be treated in the community, and common diseases can be treated nearby.

In terms of software, on the one hand, we must increase the number of grass-roots doctors, guide the transfer of medical personnel and technology to the countryside, and improve income distribution and incentive mechanism. On the other hand, grass-roots health workers need to enhance their capacity as there is still a big gap between grass-roots hospitals and large hospitals.

"At present, more than 70% of doctors in large hospitals have bachelor’s degree and above while that proportion in community health centers is less than 15%." Liu Liqun said that such a proportion of personnel is also one of the reasons for patients' distrust of grass-roots hospitals. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the training and continuing education for grass-roots medical and health personnel and improve their overall quality.

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