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Local authorities told to ramp up pediatric care as cases surge

By Wang Xiaoyu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-12-01 17:00

Local authorities have been urged to increase the number of pediatric clinics and pediatricians to cope with a surge in respiratory illness among children, the General Office of the National Health Commission said in a circular issued on Thursday.

It said different respiratory viruses have circulated simultaneously this winter, stretching the capacity of local pediatric facilities.

The circular said comprehensive measures are needed to boost the provision of pediatric services, such as allocating internal medicine specialists and retired doctors to support pediatric clinics, extending the operating hours of outpatient pediatric departments, setting up weekend and nighttime clinics, and guaranteeing supplies of testing kits, medicines and consumables.

Maternal and child health institutions have been told to make full use of online hospitals to prevent large gatherings and reduce the risk of cross-infection.

Efforts should also be made to optimize procedures for dealing with cases of respiratory illness and improve convenience for patients.

More awareness drives should be rolled out to spread understanding of the significance of vaccination and increase flu vaccine inoculation rates among children, the circular said.

Local governments have been asked to prepare emergency plans. When there is a sudden spike in hospital visits or signs of hospitals being overwhelmed, they should allocate resources across different regions to ease the pressure.

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