At LayGuangYing, in Beijing’s ShaHe area, we visit a clinic of the Community Health Service and talk with one of the staff, Mr. Song Xin.
Are you a general practitioner?
I’m not a general practitioner. You need an intermediate title to be a general practitioner. I have a junior title; I’m just a doctor.
What’s your specialty?
I studied Prevention of Infectious Diseases, in the field of Public Health, at Hebei Medical University. Now I am in charge of vaccination for children as well as the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
It is very quiet here at the moment. Is it because the houses in the neighborhood are disappearing?
Demolishment of the area is part of the reason. The main reason is that our outpatient service is only available in the morning. In the afternoon we work on document filing.
This is a community service. How much do people need to pay for a treatment?
Yes, we are a community service. We are a station attached to the SunHe Community Health Service. For most treatments we charge non-profit prices. As for vaccinations, there is an immunization program in Beijing, vaccines that are included in this program are free of charge, and only those that are not included in this program will be charged.
If, for instance, you have flu and you come to this clinic for medicine and treatment, how much would it cost?
Treatment of a normal flu won’t cost much, just several tens of RMB. It could be a bit more expensive if you need an (intravenous) drip, and how expensive would depend on the medicine you use.
Does everybody pay the same?
Senior citizens above 60 years old will be prioritized to others in getting treatment and getting a sickbed. With regards to costs, there are three ways of getting a treatment: cooperative medical care, medical insurance and normal medical care. With a medical insurance you get fully reimbursed; in cooperative medical care you get half of the costs reimbursed and in normal medical care you pay for yourself. We belong to the primary medical establishment which means that we are not very expensive.
How many people work here in this clinic?
Around 15 people.
Do you belong to a hospital? How does it work?
We are a station attached to the community health service of the area. The Community Service requires for each community the radius of a station should be within 2 kilometers. In the bigger organization we belong to the SunHe community.
How long have you worked in this industry? And how long have you worked here?
I have worked in the hospital at the Central Community Service at SunHe for one year and a half, and I have worked in this station for one year.
Before that you were in the university?
Yes. After graduation I started working in SunHe.
Do you think a lot has changed in recent years in health care? And if so, can you give a few examples?
It is much more convenient to take medical care nowadays. For instance, in the old days, old people had to get medicines from far away hospitals, but now they can get medicines here for regular diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Also in the last ten years there has been a lot of improvement in China when it comes to preventing epidemics to occur. Has a lot changed in the organization?
You are right. Take myself as an example, when I was small, there were less layers of vaccination because there were very few vaccines. Nowadays we have a lot of different vaccines and many of them are for free in Beijing. Besides, there is more emphasis on epidemics. When it comes to contagious diseases, we have to prevent and control, and we have to disinfect.
What is your career perspective, or what kind of work do you hope to have in five or ten years?
I don’t have big dreams. I hope I can do a good job in my current position, and then serve people as much as possible. And I’ll try to get a higher title.
Are you married?
What is this you have on your neck?
It has the shape of a cross. Are you a Catholic?
No, I just like the shape.