On April 25, the National Health Commission announced its decision to set up a national medical center for major public health events on the basis of the existing national medical center plan, in order to be well prepared for the emergence of infectious diseases and to enhance the national capacity to respond to significant public health events with immediate medical treatment. The center will be located in Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, which has made outstanding contributions to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic started in late 2019 is a major public health emergency that has spread the fastest, caused the most extensive infections and has been the hardest to contain since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The pandemic has seriously affected people in terms of safety and health, significantly devastating social-economic well-being.
In the face of the abrupt outbreak of the pandemic, Tongji Hospital embraced this challenge with full commitment. With prompt response, it proactively converted its fever clinics through renovation, expanded its hospitalized area and transformed Sino-French New City Branch and Optical Valley Branch of Tongji Hospital into the designated hospitals for severe patients treatment in COVID-19. In this way, Tongji Hospital has completed its layout for treating patients with COVID-19 as a comprehensive hospital. At the same time, Tongji Hospital joined hands with the national medical team to formulate and publish the guidelines and management procedures for the diagnosis and treatment of severe patients in COVID-19, took the lead in providing online fever clinic services nationwide, and established a systematic mechanism for allocation and guarantee of logistics resources. Adhering to the principle that all suspected and confirmed patients should be admitted to the hospital and treated, Tongji Hospital, coupled with 40 medical teams, has received the largest number of fever patients and treated the most severe patients in Wuhan. The hospital has also convened its leading experts and creatively set up eight small teams specialized in intubation, heart care, and kidney care, to support the clinical frontline. With joint multidisciplinary treatment, the hospital has greatly improved the cure rate of severe patients and reduced mortality rate. This medical approach has been well recognized by the medical treatment group of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council and promoted nationally.
In the battle against the pandemic, the hospital was reflecting on and exploring such issues as early warning and prediction mechanisms, early detection and assessment capabilities, public management and social governance capabilities, and the synergy between technological innovation and prevention, control and treatment. “Efforts are needed to strengthen strategic planning and forward-looking layout, improve the early warning and prediction mechanism for pandemic prevention and control, capture information in a timely and effective manner, and take timely measures”, General Secretary Xi Jinping instructed.
Tongji Hospital is under direct supervision and management of the National Health Commission. As an innovative and modern hospital for medical treatment, teaching and scientific research, Tongji Hospital has 8 national key disciplines and 30 national key clinical specialties. It boasts a host of professionals including Chen Xiaoping, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ma Ding, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. With strong clinical strength at the forefront of domestic hospitals, it ranks No.1 in Central China.
The National Medical Center for Major Public Health Events, based on Tongji Hospital, is committed to research and construction of prevention and control mechanisms, security team, platform construction, management mode, and network system. The center will turn out to be an integrated medical center for prevention, early warning, treatment, management, teaching, and research. By doing so, it is expected to achieve efficient prevention, control, and treatment of major public health emergencies and protect the health and safety of the people.
According to the approval of Hubei Provincial Development and Reform Commission, Optical Valley Branch of Tongji Hospital, Huazhong University of Science & Technology will build a treatment center for severe patients in major public health emergencies, while the Sino-French New City Branch will be an air-to-ground integrated first aid center and supporting facilities for major public health emergencies. With the joint establishment of Huazhong University of Science and Technology Emergency Prevention and Control P3 Laboratory and Testing Center and High-end Biomedical Imaging Testing Center, China will see an all-round improvement in the treatment and response to major public health and disaster events.