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March 19, 2013

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Online outpatient appointments to end misery of queuing for hours

LOCAL residents may make outpatient appointments via the Internet anywhere instead of queuing for hours at hospitals as the health information network is expected to cover the city's 600 public hospitals by June, health authorities said yesterday.

By visiting the health information website, residents can learn about diseases, while doctors may check the patients' medical records, said officials with the Shanghai Health Bureau.

Patients' recent diagnosis reports or health check reports can be uploaded to the website and viewed by doctors of all hospitals in the city, officials said.

But some major hospitals told Shanghai Daily that such medical reports should have certain qualifications before they can be used by other hospitals.

"Patients' health reports should certainly be issued from licensed hospitals, so we can trust them and use them for reference," said an official with Zhongshan Hospital.

"If they come from small or unlicensed hospitals, we cannot use them for the safety of the patients," he said.

An official with Ruijin Hospital said such reports should be authorized by local health supervisors before they can be uploaded online.

The network, which is still under construction, is expected to save patients' time and help them reduce medical expenses by avoiding unnecessary and repeated health checks, according to officials.

Currently, patients have to spend money on health checks or diagnoses at each hospital they visit before they can receive medical treatment for certain diseases.

Some patients complain that most hospitals would not use medical reports issued by other ones and they require them to go through the health checks again.

At many Shanghai hospitals, patients usually have to queue for hours to make an appointment to get medical care.

With the network, patients may read their medical reports online instead.

Community doctors authorized by the patients may gain access to their personal medical records to treat chronic diseases, officials said.


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