Thursday, 7 November 2013

China medical news - Thursday 7th November 2013

Call for crackdown as 'black' clinics flourish

Illegal 'back street' clinics are thriving in many urban and rural areas despite law enforcement authorities' prohibitions, a Xinhua investigation has found. A survey has shown that the success of illegal clinics is being driven by high profits and demand from a mobile population and lack of medical services in many rural and peripheral urban areas. Law enforcement is weak and this is the main reason for the persistence of illegal medical practice, and the resulting incidents that have occurred, according to the Xinhua investigation.  Illegal practice "chronic illness" urgent by raising the cost of illegal, optimizing allocation of medical resources, the formation of regulatory efforts to cure such manner.
  A reporter found a wide variety of covert and rampant illegal medical practices in  new development zones where migrant workers gather, .
   In these black clinics, the office "doctor" operates without registration and charges only one-tenth the price of formal medical institutions. Reporters followed law enforcement officers investigating an illegal pharmacy whose owner was administering injections for fevers, colds and flu. The owner said he saw dozens of patients a day and charged ten yuan for IV fluid infusions whereas the regular clinic injection fluid needs more than 100 yuan,
  Law enforcement personnel, say the black clinics offer cheap but often counterfeit or substandard drugs. They also do not ensure sterilization and use cheap and substandard medical equipment and other necessary supplies, which are very profitable for them. The majority of illegal medical practitioners have no formal medical education, and are likely to provide incorrect diagnosis, resulting in patient injury or even death. Nevertheless, their low costs and ease of access means these illegal practices are used by the general population with limited financial resources and fixed residence.
  Law enforcement against illegal medical clinics is a big headache.
  as the offenders play cat and mouse with the health authorities and Public Security Bureau. When a clinic is detected, investigated, prosecuted and closed down, another will soon spring up nearby. Despite repeated penalties, the clinics are difficult to monitor and can soon re-emerge as they have low costs and law enforcement is weak. Staff shortages in health authorities are very common, and in one district two law enforcement officers are responsible for the supervision and inspection of hundreds of dispensaries, medical institutions, as well as infectious disease monitoring, disinfection products and supervision work. 
  Grass-roots law enforcement officials say China's current laws and regulations on penalties for illegal medical practice do not form a sufficient deterrent. Penalties for the illegal practice of medicine are less than 100,000 yuan. These fines are too low to deter highly profitable black practices,  where illegal  practitioners dare to take the risk.
   Recently, the State Development Planning Commission, Ministry of Public Security and other six ministries jointly launched a special action to combat illegal medical practices. The law enforcement and public security program will to develop a long-term mechanism to increase the penalties for illegal practice and also boost judicial deterrence. Meanwhile, adjustments in regional health planning will encourage and attract formal medical institutions to enter the urban-rural interface, new development zones. Migrant workers will have access to more flexible health insurance policies, and improvements will be made in the level of community medical services in rural areas, for disadvantaged groups.
Source: Xinhua

Guangdong child has  H7N9 bird flu

The boy, a Sichuan-born native living in a village in Dongguan City, tested positive for the virus at the Dongguan City Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This followed routine monitoring of flu-like cases in Changping Hospital on Monday afternoon and was confirmed by the provincial CDC yesterday morning, Guangdong Province Health and Family Planning Commission said. It is the third H7N9 case confirmed this autumn in China, following two infections in Zhejiang Province on October 15 and 23. The boy is receiving treatment in isolation at the People’s Hospital of Dongguan City. He is in a stable condition without fever, while other flu-like symptoms he has are not serious, said officials. Meanwhile, on Monday, the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced that it is including H7N9 in its infectious disease reporting system. This will enable better monitoring, prevention and control of this potentially fatal disease, the commission said.
As the live poultry industry — a source of transmission —  is still widespread and winter and spring are peak seasons for respiratory infections, experts expect more cases. China’s mainland had reported 134 H7N9 bird flu cases by the end of August, resulting in 45 fatalities.

No more transplant organs from executed prisoners

China is putting a stop to its widely criticised practice of using the organs of executed prisoners in medical transplants. The practice is being phased out from November. Senior official Huang Jiefu, from the National Health and Family Planning Commission, announced a resolution that’s to improve China’s organ transplant system.
Under this, 169 Chinese hospitals currently licensed for transplant procedures, must ensure the organs come from ethical sources. And related organizations are to work together under the China Organ Transplant Response System, or COTRS, to allocate the organs "equitably and transparently".
COTRS is a computer system that allocates organs based on medical urgency and time spent on the waiting list. The resolution also sets out a timetable for reviews, and hospitals and doctors who do not follow the regulations will have their license revoked.
Source: CNTV

Strict new quarantine rules for cholera

a move to prevent the spread of cholera, China's quality watchdog said on Wednesday that local authorities must implement medical inspections and disinfection routines on persons and vehicles from countries with cholera.
From September to October29 this year, Mexico reported 176 cholera cases causing one death. The virus found in a Mexican patient was similar to that in Haiti, Dominica and Cuba, according to a recent World Health Organization report. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said people who have been to those countries and have symptoms such as vomitting and diarrhea should inform local AQSIQ bureaus  immediately. Travellers in these countries should avoid possible contaminated water and food. In addition, the AQSIQ requires local bureaus to intensify inspections and make medical treatment a priority on any patients infected with cholera.
Source: China Daily

Liver disease a problem for Taiwan

Every year in Taiwan  13,000 people die of liver disease, and one person dies of liver cancer every 40 minutes according to the "Liver Foundation" 
At a press conference to promote "Save the liver" program, survey results from the Liver Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation showed that one in five people in Taiwan are hepatitis carriers,  and 64% of patients do not know they are infected. The Liver Foundation has since 2007 been promoting the "Save the liver"  township screening program, and now has Taiwan 4890 outlets, through which the free screening services are offered for early detection and treatment.

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