Putuo’s family doctor program is helping many residents to manage their chronic diseases. Launched in 2012, the program is the product of a medical reform to redistribute medical resources and reduce long queues in big hospitals.
Community health service centers send doctors to families that have signed the family doctor program to provide treatment to chronic disease patients. The families pay an annual fee for the convenient service.
A retiree surnamed Yu in Changshou Road Sub-District has high blood pressure for a long time. He used to go a long distance to a hospital and stand in a long line to see a doctor and get some medicine. The visit would take a few hours.
By subscribing to the family doctor program, Yu can wait at home for a doctor from the community health service center and get the same medicines as prescribed by doctors in a big, crowded hospital.
“The family doctor spares me the trip to the hospital and provides treatment for the whole family. If I have a major disease, the family doctor can refer me to a big hospital by making an appointment for me,” Yu said.
Putuo now has 225 general practitioners and 75 medical teams working for the family doctor program. As of June 30, more than 94,100 families in the district had signed contracts for their services.