Li Weimin, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC), said on Monday in Beijing that China's medical service system needs to be upgraded and rebalanced to meet people's rising demands in the new era.
Li Weimin, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) and president of West China Hospital, Sichuan University, speaks to China.org.cn on Monday in Beijing. [Photo by Guo Yiming/China.org.cn]
Li, president of the prestigious West China Hospital of Sichuan University, told China.org.cn that the principal contradiction facing the healthcare industry today lies between unbalanced or inadequate development and people's ever-growing need for a better hospital experience.
Based on his own observations as a medical practitioner, Li explained that "people are asking for a more unimpeded diagnostic process, better hospital environment and people-centered care, as well as detailed information about their conditions and treatment options."
"In the past, we had mostly six-bed wards in our hospital to accommodate the maximum number of patients," Li said. "Now, more patients and their families are demanding for two-bed or private rooms for a better hospital experience, and we have to make adjustments accordingly."
He has also observed the disparity between resources available in urban and rural areas, with medical resources being concentrated in big cities and major hospitals, while impoverished or rural areas, as well as ethnic minority inhabited regions, face limited human resources, facilities, technologies and expertise.
To balance human resources, Li proposes encouraging doctors from top hospitals to work in more remote areas for some years before returning to their former jobs, to bring the weight of their performance in those areas into their evaluation calculations.
In this year's government work report, Premier Li Keqiang has vowed that the government will do more to alleviate poverty through the development of local industries, education and healthcare, and will address weaknesses in infrastructure and public services to create a self-generated impetus to reduce poverty.
Li said he hopes the government can offer more financial support to hospitals in those areas and ensure that all the public hospitals can better serve public interests.