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Family doctor service promoted with subsidies

Updated: 2018-05-08

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Four family doctors drop in to provide medical service for an elderly woman. [Photo/Zhanjiang Daily]

Zhanjiang will begin providing subsidies to local impoverished residents who sign up for family doctor services, according to an announcement by the city's Health and Family Planning Commission, Civil Affairs Bureau and Poverty Alleviation Office on May 4.

Family doctors often refer to general pracitioners who provide basic and continuing medical care for patients based on their knowledge on the family or community.

The new subsidies come as part of the Guangdong Impoverished People Subsidy Plan on Signing Family Doctor Services, which was launched last month. The move will encourage more people to receive medical care at grassroots medical institutions, thereby reducing the burden on hospitals.

Those who fall under any of the following six categories are eligible for the subsidy: residents living on the minimum subsistence allowance, destitute residents, orphans, registered impoverished residents, children housed in welfare institutions and "de facto unattended children" (children with one parent dead, lost, seriously ill, having mental problems or severe disabilities, or in jail, while the other parent does not offer proper care). Qualified applicants will be exempted from all out-of-pocket expenses upon signing a service contract with family doctors.

A subsidy covering 90 percent of total expenses will be offered to hypertensive and diabetic patients who use medications listed on the recommendation catalogue at designated grassroots medical institutions. The full cost will be covered by the government if the hypertensive and diabetic patients are also destitutes or orphans.