Zhang Wei (C), a deputy to the National People's Congress and president of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, helps treat patients at the Second People's Hospital in Shangrao city, East China's Jiangxi province. [Photo provided by the Standing Committee of the Jiangxi Provincial People's Congress]
As a renowned respiratory disease expert and president of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Zhang Wei has won many distinguished awards at the national and provincial levels. As a deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) since 2018, she has put forward 50 motions and suggestions to address people's concerns and improve the country's healthcare system.
In her medical career spanning 37 years, Zhang has always worked on the front line, receiving patients, inspecting wards, joining consultations and conducting research. She said she feels fulfilled to relieve patients' worry and pain.
Zhang recalled the promise she made when elected as a national lawmaker: "I should live up to the trust and expectations of the people." With this mission in mind, Zhang began to look at her job from the perspective of a deputy. She collected first-hand information on patients' needs, and made various suggestions for the betterment of society.
Over the years, she has committed to improving the quality of medical services and addressing difficulties faced by the people while seeking medical treatment. Under her leadership, the hospital has hosted a number of important medical programs and also enhanced the diagnosis and treatment of rare and critical diseases, a huge boon to residents of the province.
As a lawmaker, her research reports on many topics, particularly on the education of rural girls and pollution control, have served as valuable references to the province's decision-making.
Almost all of her motions and suggestions are concerned with protecting and improving people's livelihood, such as poverty alleviation and reform of salary system in public hospitals. She has spearheaded a medical treatment partnership between her hospital and several grassroots medical institutions in the province, and established a remote consultation network covering 11 cities in the province, which provided more than 650 online training sessions and 15,000 telemedicine services in 2020.
Zhang is no stranger to coping with public health emergencies. Since the SARS outbreak in 2003, she has been the head of the medical treatment team for such emergencies in Jiangxi, and won many awards in recognition of her contributions. Since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, she has led the province's top expert panel for COVID-19 containment. For more than two months, she worked nearly 18 hours every day to fulfill her duties as a hospital president and a medical expert in the province-wide epidemic response.
With provincial-level public hospitals at the center stage, Zhang suggested building a three-tier public health system that covers medical institutions at the provincial, municipal and county levels in order to provide effective prevention, control and treatment services to the public.
Facing new journey and challenges in the critical period for the high-quality development of China's health undertakings in the new era, Zhang said she will always devote herself to meeting people's needs for medical services and promoting reform and transformation of public hospitals.
Zhang Wei, a deputy to the National People's Congress and president of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, makes a field study at a county-level public hospital. [Photo provided by the Standing Committee of the Jiangxi Provincial People's Congress]
Zhang Wei, a deputy to the National People's Congress and president of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, answers a video call from a patient. [Photo provided by the Standing Committee of the Jiangxi Provincial People's Congress]