By Mohamad Syaifan Bin Zakaria
I am a surgeon at Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL), Malaysia. I am interested in international medical exchange activities, and often go to hospitals around the world for medical exchanges. Recently, I was invited to the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University to give a lecture on medical academic exchanges in Urumqi, Xinjiang. After three days of communication, I deeply realized that the Chinese government has invested a lot in medical and health construction in Xinjiang, especially construction in Xinjiang’s Internet plus smart healthcare project, so that more people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang can enjoy health care services brought by the Chinese government. Now, let me talk about my feelings after this academic exchange as follows.
In recent years, the Chinese government has increased its investment in health information technology and continued to strengthen infrastructure construction. Over the years, it has invested a total of 440 million yuan. Xinjiang’s Internet plus healthcare service for the convenience of the people has yielded great achievements. In 2020, the local government of Xinjiang plans to form a new model of Internet plus healthcare service, to achieve full coverage of telemedicine, and to enable the people to effectively enjoy the medical convenience brought by informatization. Xinjiang is continuously accelerating the promotion of a new Internet plus healthcare service model, promoting work of medical and health service, so that people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang can enjoy the convenience and get benefits brought by Internet plus healthcare model.
After I went to the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University for an academic exchange lecture, it opened my eyes. The Telemedicine Sub-center established by the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University applies Internet technology to realize the collaboration of medical experts from different places. In order to actively respond to the “Belt & Road” initiative proposed by the Chinese government and promote international medical cooperation, the hospital has also established international long-distance collaboration with Central Asian countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan to promote the establishment of a transnational medical consultation and mutual recognition mechanism. As of August 2018, the total number of online interactive remote consultations conducted by the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University was nearly 110,000, with a maximum of 147 consultations per day. There are a total of 31 international tele-cooperative medical institutions, and 21 cases of cross-border remote consultations have been conducted. At the same time, various types of medical institutions at all levels in Xinjiang have carried out more than 200,000 remote consultations, and carried out more than 500,000 remote ECG diagnosis, remote imaging diagnosis and remote pathology, which greatly facilitated the grassroots people to see a doctor. Xinjiang’s health authorities also issued 30 specific measures to benefit the people and provide convenience for the people , helping the work of health and poverty alleviation to achieve practical results, enabling people to enjoy the dividends and benefits brought by the reform of medical and health information technology.
In addition, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region financed a total of 1.569 billion yuan in subsidies for basic public health projects. Xinjiang’s finance has arranged a total of 105 million yuan from 2018 to 2019 to carry out services such as appointment consultation, two-way referral, and telemedicine, realizing the functions of electronic family doctor signing and transfer-in and transfer-out of residents’ health electronic file and change of signing service team after reading the resident ID card, which provides convenience for the grassroots to seek medical treatment, and makes more residents feel efficiency and convenience brought by Internet plus projects.
According to the peer experts of the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Xinjiang will continue to advance the process of Internet plus smart healthcare, strive to improve the modern medical and health management level, optimize resource allocation, innovate service models, carry out smart hospital construction, and improve service efficiency, reduce service costs, work on settlement payment services, patient medication services, public health services, family doctor contracting services, telemedicine services, health information services, to meet the growing medical and health needs of the people. In 2020, Xinjiang will also establish a medical and health informatization working mechanism with full population coverage, whole life cycle, and work flow, and form a new Internet plus healthcare service model, so that local people can truly enjoy the convenience and dividends brought by informationization.
This trip to China’s medical exchanges made me greatly admire the Chinese government’s policies of serving the people wholeheartedly. The Internet plus healthcare project implemented in Xinjiang has brought rich health dividends to my Muslim siblings in Xinjiang.