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Personal Doctor Becoming a Trendy Gift

Tobacco and wine are no longer given as gifts to relatives or friends. Instead, people are sending personal doctors as gifts. Personal doctors are yet another health gift fad that has surfaced this year following the once highly popular gift of physical examination vouchers over the past few year.


In the past, the people who paid much attention to high-level specialized healthcare services were mainly business executives, high-level intellectuals and white-collar employees. Nowadays, more and more ordinary people have come to understand the concept of disease prevention over treatment, and they are making an effort to change their lifestyles. They will spend a few thousand yuan to retain a family physician and create health files for every family member. They will no longer have to queue up for physical examinations or to have their teeth cleaned for a whole year. They can see their doctors directly when suffering from slight illnesses such as a headache or a fever. And when a family member is serious ill, the personal doctor will refer him to a qualified expert or a specialist. During holidays, personal doctors will also make round calls to his patients and remind them on how to celebrate in a healthy manner.


A sampled survey on medical trends showed that among the Chinese urbanites, 15.7% had expressed desires for personal doctors or family physicians.


At present, the personal doctors in Beijing mostly offer healthcare consultation services over the phone by appointment. They haven't gone as far as providing on-call outpatient services. The cost for a full-fledged "personal doctor" is still very high.

(Chinanews December 31, 2004)

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