THE concept of family doctors was introduced to Shenzhen in 2009, and the city is planning to have a public hearing on WeChat later this month to collect opinions on a draft regulation concerning family doctors.
The city's health and family planning commission put a draft on managing family doctors on its official website Monday. The public hearing on WeChat will be held on the afternoon of July 27. Residents can participate in the hearing by adding the account: jkshenzhen.
Since 2009, the city has been pioneering the use of family doctors at community clinics. Official figures show that there are 2,833 family doctors working with approximately 790,000 households and serving 2.36 million residents.
The regulation on family doctors further clarifies services and legislation regarding family doctors and how the system works.
According to the draft, family doctor services are available at public hospitals and community clinics.
Normally, a team-comprising a GP (general practitioner) and other medical staff for a residential community-sign contracts with residents who would like to use the service. The contract generally lasts at least one year.
Besides the standard personnel allocation, a resident can choose to add more medical staff to their family's team. Choices range from doctors, specialists, pharmacists, nutritionists and psychological consultants. A team of family doctors can serve no more than 2,000 people.
The GP will be the principle person responsible for the whole team. A GP must own a GP license, be registered in Shenzhen and have experience working as a GP independently for at least one year.
Such teams of family doctors can provide a large variety of medical services, including basic health and medical services that are covered by the social medical insurance, health management, health consultancy, at-home treatment and so forth.
Charges will be required for other services. Medical services provided by family doctors with public hospitals or government-funded institutions are billed according to the city's standards, while teams from private hospitals will charge their customers in accordance with their charging standards.
The commission also clarified that family doctors are not the same as private doctors, so they will still prioritize residents who come to see them at their institutions.