Shenzhen will build two new children’s hospitals in Longhua and Longgang districts to meet public demand, local Chinese-language newspapers reported yesterday.
Upon completion at the end of 2020, Shenzhen No. 2 Children’s Hospital in Longhua District, with an investment of 2.6 billion yuan (US$374 million), will have a floor space of 300,000 square meters and offer 1,500 beds.
Shenzhen No. 3 Children’s Hospital, to be located in the Wulian area of Longgang District, will cover 35,382 square meters and offer 600 beds, according to a letter from Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission responding to requests from local lawmakers to improve medical services and address the shortage in pediatrics.
To expand the size of Shenzhen Children’s Hospital in Futian District, the city government has agreed to turn the western parking lot of the hospital into a research building that will offer an additional 200 beds.
The only children’s hospital currently in operation in Shenzhen, Shenzhen Children’s Hospital, has been overloaded with patients, with 2 million annual clinic visits — 10 times its designed capacity when it was set up in 1997.
At the annual two sessions earlier this year, a dozen lawmakers suggested that the city build more children’s hospitals to meet the demand that has been rising since the country eased the one-child policy in 2016.
By the end of 2016, the city had 1,800 registered pediatricians and faced a shortage of 400 pediatricians.
A major factor behind the shortage of pediatricians is that pediatrics entails a high degree of both risk and responsibility, while compensation is generally low.
The health commission has introduced payment reforms in public hospitals and increased subsidies to the children’s hospital to attract more people to the job.