A major Chinese online healthcare service provider opened its first bricks-and-mortar primary care clinic in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, on March 19.
WeDoctor made its name by linking patients with specialists in large public hospitals via an online platform. To date, more than 6,000 doctors have signed up to the service.
Liao Jieyuan, CEO of WeDoctor Group, said the new clinic would offer a package of services such as regular health checkups, medical consultations, chronic disease management, post-surgery care, and hospital referrals.
"The launch of this primary care clinic completes the missing link in the healthcare services we offer and advances a hierarchical care model, as pushed forward by the government," he said at the clinic's inauguration ceremony.
Liao was referring to the government's strategy of promoting primary care providers to ease the strain on large hospitals, which have become overcrowded in recent years with patients who often have only minor ailments.
He Chao, head of the new clinic, said it had the capacity to meet the majority of customers' health demands, while those with serious conditions would be referred to a sitable specialist.
"Such a model helps optimize healthcare resources and brings more convenience to patients," he said.
The clinic also offers tailored health management services such as smoking cessation, exercise and diet advice, as well as corporate health intervention plans, he added.