A new scheme introduced in the town of Nangang, in Hefei, capital city of east China's Anhui province, means local residents can now pay a nominal fee to enroll for their own "health adviser" and health record-keeping service.
Paying 20 yuan (U.S.$ 3.02), residents can access to six categories of paid services and 12 categories of free basic public health services, according to authorities.
The paid services include an annual physical examination; a face-to-face health assessment for the elderly and the physically-impaired; a personalized health management planning; priority home care services for families with elderly people over 80 and with rehabilitating patients; and, family medical care and rehabilitation.
Free services include the establishment and management of health records; vaccination and healthcare for children under seven; treatments for pregnant women and the elderly; and health management for patients with chronic diseases.
The town has put emphasis on encouraging doctors to visit families and focus on services for the over-65s, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and children under seven. It was announced that the government will cover the cost of such services among certain disadvantaged groups.
An elderly woman told China Women's News that, "Since I have signed the contract (for the family-based health services), I just need to call the center to make an appointment whenever I want to see a doctor. It is convenient for us. We can also enjoy the services of community doctors. If I need it, they will be responsible for my transfer to a higher-level hospital."