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Cablegate: Fuzhou Hospital Struggles with Drug-Resistant Tb And

VZCZCXRO2177
OO RUEHCN RUEHGH RUEHVC
DE RUEHGZ #0624/01 1520559
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 010559Z JUN 07
FM AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6105
INFO RUEHOO/CHINA POSTS COLLECTIVE
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 GUANGZHOU 000624

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/IHA
HHS FOR MCKEOWN
HHS FOR OFFICE OF GLOBAL HEALTH AFFAIRS
CDC FOR COORDINATING OFFICE FOR GLOBAL HEALTH
USPACOM FOR FPA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO PGOV SOCI CH
SUBJECT: Fuzhou Hospital Struggles With Drug-Resistant TB and
Migrant Patients


1. (U) SUMMARY: Fuzhou Lung Diseases Hospital emphasizes increased
training and public education to prevent the spread of infectious
diseases. The growing drug-resistance of infectious diseases,
particularly tuberculosis, and the large number of migrant patients
continue to challenge prevention and treatment efforts. Local
governments in Fujian are supportive of the hospital's efforts and
understand the importance of infectious disease control, according
to health officials. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) Congenoff visited Fuzhou Lung Diseases Hospital on May 18.
It is Fujian's only hospital specifically designated for the
treatment and prevention of respiratory diseases. Approximately
half of its patients are from Fuzhou municipality, while the
remaining patients come from rural areas. In addition to providing
comprehensive outpatient medical services, the hospital has ten
specialized sections for different types of respiratory diseases.
The hospital focuses primarily on tuberculosis (TB) and lung cancer.
Hospital administrators claim to have all the advanced equipment
needed for testing and diagnosis of respiratory diseases, including
CT, color B-mode ultrasound imaging, and advanced diagnostic
laboratory equipment. The 355-bed facility employs about 420 staff,
over 100 of which hold advanced degrees. The Hospital was built in
1952 and is affiliated with Fujian Medical University.

Drug resistance and migrant patients
------------------- ----------------

3. (U) TB is one of the major focal points of the hospital's
prevention efforts. According to hospital administrators, China is
one of 22 countries with a "serious" TB problem. Growing
drug-resistance and China's large migrant population are significant
obstacles as doctors have difficulty finding appropriate antibiotics
to treat drug-resistant TB and in tracking their migrant patients.
Research into more effective treatment methods remains a priority.

Government efforts on infectious disease control
--------------------- --------------------------

4. (U) Dr. Yang, Chief of the TB Prevention Section, told us that
the local government is supportive of the hospital's infectious
respiratory disease prevention efforts. The Fuzhou Municipal
Government has formed a TB prevention working group. Fuzhou is also
one of the few governments that have established local regulations
on this issue. In 2005, Fuzhou started to provide free medical care
for TB patients who meet certain government criteria. The hospital
has assigned the primary responsibility for infectious diseases
control to one of its vice presidents. It has also established a
reward and penalty mechanism for infectious diseases reporting.
Although the hospital is state-owned, it still requires other
funding and what it gets from provincial and municipal governments
is not sufficient to cover operating expenses. The hospital charges
most patients for their medical care based on price levels approved
by the Fujian Provincial Government's Pricing Bureau.

5. (U) Zheng Boxun, Deputy Director of the Fujian Health Bureau's
International Medical Exchange Center, added that the central
government maintains a strong CDC network for infectious disease
monitoring and emergency reaction to public health incidents. Zheng
said that this network was strengthened after the SARS crisis.
Hospitals play an increasingly important role as part of the disease
reporting network. According to Zheng, the local government has
devoted more resources to educating the public about infectious
diseases, so that people will not panic when an outbreak occurs.

More emphasis on training and staff quality
------------------------- -----------------

6. (U) Since the SARS crisis, the hospital has made on-the-job
training mandatory to ensure that staff can better recognize various
infectious diseases and take appropriate protective measures.
Hospital officials also send their staff to other hospitals around
the country to learn best practices.

7. (U) The hospital has no difficulty recruiting new staff. The
hospital's party secretary, Ms. You, said they understand that
quality medical staff is key to the hospital's success. Competition
is fierce for medical staff positions at the hospital, according to
Ms. You, who added that there are usually at least six applicants
for each position, three of whom are chosen for an interview.


GUANGZHOU 00000624 002 OF 002


Comment
-------

8. (SBU) Local governments are paying more attention to public
health, as it influences China's economic development and social
stability. Health officials are focusing more on infectious disease
control by strengthening the reporting network, training medical
staff, and providing free treatment to some patients. However,
Chinese officials need to improve their transparency in information
sharing with the international community.

GOLDBERG

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