Beijing Hospitals Team Up to Cope With Two-Child Baby Boom
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2017-10-24 12:10:22

Eighteen hospitals in Beijing will collaborate on a new pediatrics facility so the city can better deal with an anticipated rise in births following loosened family planning policies.

The capital and the country as a whole already face a dire shortage of pediatricians, and Beijing will have an estimated 330,000 to 340,000 extra births per year, according to the municipal bureau that oversees hospitals, The Beijing News reported Tuesday.

The bureau announced Monday that Beijing’s hospitals will share researchers and medical resources for a new center to cope with the shortage of pediatricians and improve the efficiency of treatment and services. More than 2,000 specialists will be trained at the center.

Participating hospitals will also be given specific roles based on their strengths. For example, pediatric hospitals such as Beijing Children’s Hospital will focus on high-level training, clinical research, and severe illnesses.

With a total of around 135,000 pediatricians, China has just one for every 2,300 children — a ratio that is only growing worse. The central government has set a goal for there to be one pediatrician for every 1,450 children by 2020, though this already ambitious ratio promises to be further complicated by the expected increase in births.

Other major cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, have also introduced measures to improve medical services for children. In September, plans for China’s largest pediatric college were announced at Shanghai Jiaotong University’s School of Medicine. And in May, 20 pediatric emergency treatment programs were opened in general hospitals around the city.

In Guangzhou, capital of southern China’s Guangdong province, the number of newborn second children has exceeded first-borns since April, and the total number of births is steadily increasing. To relieve pressure on the city’s medical facilities, 17 first-class hospitals throughout the province formed a pediatric alliance. Last year, local health authorities also raised salaries for pedestrians.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: Young patients receive intravenous transfusions at Beijing Children’s Hospital, July 17, 2016. Wei Tong/Beijing Youth Daily/VCG)