Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Shenzhen takes to family doctors

by Michael Woodhead
On International Family Doctor Day a Shenzhen joint venture clinic with Hong Kong University is claiming that general practitioners are proving popular with patients. 
The HK University Shenzhen Hospital clinic offers a GP service in which patients with chronic diseases can book face to face appointment with their family doctor. The clinic has an 80% return rate and the main diseases treated are cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and mental health problems, according to GP Dr Liu Ruihong. He said other hospital clinics are not open to external referrals, and only accept internal referrals. However, the GP clinic works on international model in that a GP can refer to the hospital clinic and vice versa. He says that according to WHO criteria, patients with chronic diseases are best treated by a generalist doctor with continuity of care and an emphasis on preventive care. With good GP care, patients with chronic diseases can stay healthy and avoid the need for hospital treatment for decades, he says.
After six months of a pilot program, the clinic is proving popular with patients and an increasing numbering are registering with the clinic and returning to see their personal doctor, he added.

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