Instead of bouncing from floor to floor in the hospital explaining your or your family’s illnesses to different doctors, find out what Dongguan is doing for family doctor services.
When I was a child and got sick, my parents used to take me to see a Doctor Li at the hospital. I called him Papa Li. Before my parents could tell him my symptoms, he would have already listed them all out while taking my pulse or checking my throat. I never felt nervous in his clinic as he seemed to be an extended family member of mine.
Papa Li knew my family so well that sometimes he would prescribe some traditional chinese medicine (TCM) as a preventative method before the outbreak of a flu epidemic or my grandpa’s rheumatism. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have Papa Li in my life until I became a parent.
The first few times I took my son to the hospital were disastrous. We bounced between the pediatric department and the emergency room and kept repeating the symptoms, medical history, medication and test results every time to whoever was the doctor on duty. The process of communicating with each doctor about my son’s medication was tedious and frustrating. My son did not make it any easier for me. The moment he entered the waiting room, he started to struggle and urged me to take him home.
When we locked onto a pediatrician we liked, things got slightly better. We made an appointment on WeChat according to her schedule. I did not have to explain every little concern of mine over and over. She got it.
It was not long before I had a new dilemma. My mom hurt her hand and got an infection the same time my son suffered from bronchitis. We had to go to different floors, different departments, different pharmacies and wait in line for an unbelievable amount of time before everything was finally sorted.
What if we had a doctor who could care for the whole family?
In February, the Dongguan and Hong Kong Family Doctor Training Program was initiated. Thirty general practitioners in Dongguan will do a year-long training program on Hong Kong family doctor services. On December 10, the very first family doctor’s studio officially came into existance in Shilong Town, followed by Dalang, Liaobu, Chang’an and Changping. It was reported by Tencent News in September that a medical team of a community clinic in Liaobu Town served more than 2,100 people.
I searched Dongguan for family doctors closer to where I live. I was able to find a few locations in the central area. I accompanied my friend to YYL Hospital to see what was offered, and was amazed by its pediatrics department with cute little kiddie armchairs, play areas, a reading corner and colorful decorations.
I asked the director of customer service, Kiki Mo, about the department.
“Kids will feel relaxed not stressed while in YYL. We provide a complete system in childcare. More importantly, we will communicate with parents closely, giving follow-up guidance and consultation,” she said.
She said the YYL Hospital fully supports the family doctor program.
Imagine next time your kid has a late-night fever; all you need to do is to call up your family doctor.