Hangzhou City Profile

How does the city ensure the health of its citizens by providing healthcare and medical services?

Background and overview: Hangzhou, China

Located in Eastern China, Hangzhou is the biggest city and the capital of the Zhejiang Province. Hangzhou became a significant city due to the south part of the Grand Canal, and has been recognized as one of the most beautiful cities in China because of the natural scenery that has been regarded as the most similar place to heaven. West Lake is the most famous tourist attraction in the city. Hangzhou forms the center of the Metroplitan Area which is the fourth-largest in China. The metropolitan area is made up of population of 21.1 million people and area of 35,000 square kilometers. The entire population of Hangzhou reaches up to 8.7 million people. Since the city has been opened up to the world in 1992, the economy of Hangzhou has developed at a rapid pace. The industrial city opened new sectors that are diverse, including agriculture, light industry and textiles. Hangzhou is considered to be a very important center for manufacturing and logistics in the coasts of China. In recent years, many new industries have been developed in Hangzhou, such as information technology, medicine, electronics, household electrical appliances and food processing.


General Healthcare Services

Just like any other city in China, traditional Chinese medicine, or Chinese herbal treatment, has been practiced by the Chinese and Hangzhou population for more than a thousand years, and it has been the foundation of healthcare for a large portion of the history of medicine.  Ever since the 19th Century, Western medicine that has evidence have taken over a big part of the healthcare system, especially the more developed cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and regarding this profile, Hangzhou. Medical services have been significantly diverged between the urban and rural areas in cities. A large portion of the health sector has been privatized, and the many private clinics and hospitals that can be seen around the city of Hangzhou is proof (Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d.).

Questions: How does the city ensure the health of its citizens by providing health care packages and medical services? How do the medical services work?

Due to the closing down of state-owned enterprises and the fact that the majority of the residents that live in urban areas were no longer employed by the government, they lost the social security and health benefits that were provided by the state when the citizens were employed. Because of this, the residents in urban areas paid for their healthcare with their own money. The rural residents could not pay for medical services that are provided in urban hospitals, and therefore, they go to public hospitals, where the prices are cheaper but the services provided are not as high quality or as guaranteed as the services provided in private hospitals. The New Rural Co-operative Medical Care System (the NRCMCS) has been launched by the Chinese government in 2005, and it particularly targets to make medical services more affordable for the poorer rural residents. With the NRCMCS, around 800 million rural residents gained the access to basic medical services, and the governments cover regular medical expenses of between 30% to 80%. In Hangzhou, medical insurance availability has become common, especially in urban areas. By 2012, more than 95% of the whole population of the city had access to basic health insurance.

The AIR Emergency Ambulance Service

There is an air ambulance service in Hangzhou, and it is a service that has saved hundreds of lives. Professional medics and pilots are employed, and they will respond to whoever asks for their services at anytime time. Equipped with the most developed medical equipment that is maintained and upgraded regularly, medical air transport in Hangzhou is one of the most efficient in China. The main group of sick individuals that most require this service is children who suffer from congenital diseases due to their need to travel across the country so that they can receive special treatments. Time and money from traveling for a long time in ambulances are saved, and it is also a special experience for children who are ailing. Highly-trained medics that are qualified will help the patient prepare for the journey, providing a fast and efficient service to all patients in any medical conditions (Emergency Air Charter. N.p., n.d.).


Explanation and Analysis

Emergency ambulanceservices are a necessity in every city or village, but air emergency services are rare and valuable. I think that although it might cost a lot, the amount of lives it saves outweighs the cost by far. The guaranteed highly-trained medics provide a vote of confidence for the patients who have a need for the service, and therefore will not hesitate to use it, which help save lives. Most of the patience who use this service are children with congenital diseases, and I don't think that many other patients will have a need for this service because of the good medical services provided by their local hospitals, but I think that this air emergency ambulance service is very efficient and it should be more wide-spread across the globe.


Looking into the future

Looking into the future, I see air emergency ambulance services used all across the world. Technology would be applied to medical services and airplanes, and people will make good use of it. However, I still think that normal emergency ambulance services will be widely-used still because of the cost, and also the fact that the sick individuals might just be a block or two away from the hospital but they are unable to travel there due to their conditions. Both of these services will be used and they will save countless lives in the future.


Bibliography

"China: Administrative Division of Zhèjiāng / 浙江省." (Prefectures, Cities, Districts and Counties). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

Rosenberg, Matt. "Largest Cities Through History." About.com Geography. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

"Hangzhou." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 26 May 2015.

"Health in China." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 30 May 2015.

"Air Ambulance." Emergency Air Charter. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2015.

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