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My Elective - Yuanchao Xue

By Yuanchao Xue

My Elective - Yuanchao Xue

Entry Blog

In 2019 I look forward to embarking on my elective adventure in China. Despite spending the first 10 years of my life in China, I have little to no knowledge about the health care system in the country. Through this trip I hope to gain knowledge on how healthcare is provided to the world's largest population and draw comparison with the NHS, a system I will be working for in the future.

Xi'an is a fast-growing city in the north-western region of China, it faces multiple problems such as an aging population, a diverse range of patients from different socioeconomic background and often patients who have very little medical knowledge.

Despite the cultural difference there are many similarities between the patient population of rural China and east London where I attend medical school. I hope to gain an understanding of how healthcare is managed in the biggest population in the world and draw advantages that can be applied in my practice in the UK.

The management of diabetes, and diabetic retinopathy will be the focus of my elective. Diabetes is a growing problem in modern China. With the fast economic growth China has achieved in recent years, it would be interesting to explore how the treatment of diabetes has changed as western medicine steadily become more available at an affordable cost.

Healthcare in China consists of both public and private medical institutions and insurance programs, a direction the British healthcare system could possibly head towards (for better or worse). Public health insurance in China generally only covers about half of the medical cost, with the proportion lower for those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes.

The financial burden of chronic illness becomes significantly exacerbated in poorer areas. During my elective, I hope to explore how the Chinese government is attempting to provide affordable healthcare for those who are of low in-come, draw experience from their success and ring warning bells from their failure.

During my free time, I am an avid photographer/videographer. I intend to document my trip in the form of a 3 to 4 minute travel video to demonstrate to my audience the success China has achieved in its partially state funded health system and the problems brought upon by the immense gap between the rich and the poor. This can be shared with Wesleyan on request.

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