Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Medical comic strips | Anti-smoking laws weakened | No support for Orphan Diseases

A female doctor in Shanghai draws weekly comic strips and posts them on WeChat to try demystify medical jargon and improve doctor-patient relations
Dr Chen Haiyan, a cardiac ultrasonographer at the Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital has used the comic strips to explain conditions such as heart defects and high blood pressure in easy-to-understand ways. She also tries to explain the daily life of medical staff and show they are human in an effort to defuse the major tensions that have triggered many recent violent attacks against hospital staff.

Health experts have expressed disappointment that Beijing's proposed anti-smoking regulations have been watered down. The latest draft legislation only bans smoking in "shared indoor public places," compared to a previous draft that banned smoking in all indoor public areas, said Professor
Wang Qingbin, a legal expert at the China University of Political Science and Law,
"By banning smoking only in 'shared' indoor public areas, the legislators are giving officials with their own offices a chance to smoke, which is against the spirit of equality," Wang said, adding that it will only make law enforcement all the more difficult.

China lacks adequate health systems to deal with rare 'orphan' diseases such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, medical experts say. At a recent conference on rare diseases at the Children's Hospital of Fudan University experts called for legislation and policies on the prevention and treatment of rare diseases that affect more than 10 million people in China."Related regulations should be created to help provide better support to patients with rare diseases and their families," said Li Dingguo, chairman of the rare disease branch of the Shanghai Medical Association.

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