Pediatrician shortage takes toll on China’s child services

Beijing, Dec 21 (IANS) Some children’s hospitals in China have been shut down due to a severe shortage of pediatricians, a media report said on Monday.

The No.3 Hospital affiliated to Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, has stopped accepting patients, except for critical cases, the China Daily reported.

Shan Yutao, director of the hospital’s medical management department said that there were five pediatricians at its emergency treatment department, who were divided into two groups and had to work 24-hour shifts.

“We cannot manage the work since some doctors quit recently,” said Shan, adding “Four of the eight pediatricians we recruited in 2011 have quit.”

Tian Man, director of the medical service department of Nanjing Children’s Hospital, said that pediatricians in many hospitals were working under great pressure.

“We expected to receive 2,000 to 3,000 patients when the hospital started operating,” said Tian. “But now we treat more than 5,000 patients a day. The number even surges to 7,000 in summer.”

According to the Nanjing Health Bureau, the number of children in Nanjing reached 1.02 million in 2015, but there are fewer than 1,000 pediatricians in the city.

Zhao Bo, a pediatrician at Nanjing Children’s Hospital, said that not too many doctors want to become pediatricians due to the extreme pressure.

“Many parents easily get irritated when their children are sick,” said Zhao. “Besides, many children cannot describe their symptoms clearly.

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