China / Society

Shandong rural residents to have family doctors

By Wang Qian and Ju Chuanjiang ( Updated: 2012-11-20 20:39

More than 130,000 rural residents in Zibo's Zhangdian district, Shandong province, will be able to have family doctors and receive free home visits starting next month.

According to a recently launched healthcare program, the local government is working to establish family doctor teams composed of licensed general practitioners, nurses and rural doctors in all 120 villages of the district.

The teams will establish personalized health files and provide free treatment and medical advice for residents who have signed up with them. They are also required to make at least two house calls a week for people above 65 years old, children younger than 6 years old, pregnant women, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases and mental disorders.

Shandong launched the rural family doctor medical service last month, which is expected to cover 20 percent of the villages in the province by the year's end, according to Qiu Bingyu, deputy head of the provincial bureau of health.

"Most people in Chinese rural areas don't like going to hospital and having regular health checks, so it is very necessary to provide the service in those areas," said Chou.

So far, the model has been implemented in villages across the cities of Linyi, Jining, Zibo, Binzhou, Yantai and Qingdao. The family doctors in Jining alone have visited more than 162,000 rural residents and diagnosed nearly 30,000 cases of disease.

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