China Steps Up Efforts to Tackle Anesthetist Shortage

Have you ever cried when your parents brought you to a hospital during your childhood? I remembered clearly my fear of seeing cold machine when I stepped into the office for my dental visits in the United States (aka 美国 看牙). Since HPV — one of the most popular international students’ vaccines (aka 留学生疫苗) — is included in my international student health insurance (aka 留学生 保险), I made an appointment with the doctor at my university health center. However, the infusion needle made me tremble. I tried to waive American university insurance (aka waive 美国大学保险) since I dislike seeing a doctor; unfortunately, undergraduate students having health insurance and visiting scholars purchasing J-1/J-2 insurance (aka j1 j2 保险) are mandatory.

Shanghai Children’s Medical Center is making its operating theaters child-friendly after decorating the area like an amusement park and allowing parents in. The Sunshine Room is a place where children can play, and parents can be with them for anesthesia before the surgery. A pile of dolls and toys like Huhu (aka 虎虎) Tiger designed by the hospital’s nurses are given to every single child. The director of the hospital said they are trying to relieve children’s stress and fear before surgery and make “a hospital without crying.”

However, China has to tackle the shortage of anesthetists especially for pediatric hospitals. There were about 55.96 million surgeries operated in Chinese hospitals in 2017, but only 76,000 anesthetists were available. To hit the standard of 2.5 anesthetists per 10,000 operations in developed countries, at least another 270,000 anesthetists are needed. “Recently, the amount of surgeries has risen by 10 percent annually, while the number of anesthetists has only increased about 5 percent,” said Mi Weidong, an expert in labor analgesia at the Chinese Medical Doctor Association.

With people’s increasing need for medical services, a major predicament is that the surging number of surgeries largely outnumbers the increase of anesthetists every year. China has put more efforts into dealing with the shortage of anesthetists in recent years. A total of 382 training bases for anesthetists have been selected to cultivate more professionals, and over 55 universities and colleges began enrolling undergraduate students majoring in anesthesia. Thanks to the efforts, the number of anesthetists in China has increased by 20 percent in the last five years. In 2018, a guideline for strengthening and improving anesthesia medical services was issued. It aims for the total number of anesthetists to reach 90,000 by 2020.

Comments are closed.