As reported by Central News Agency on June 12, Zhengzhou – the capital of Henan Province – is implementing normalized nucleic acid testing. Most of the medical staff at a community health service center are required to support the testing process. 

As a result, doctors have suspended outpatient clinics, and patients fail to seek treatment.

Zhang Lei, a doctor at that local center, says that he has been supporting nucleic acid sampling tasks for several days in a row. He had almost stopped outpatient services without seeing patients. 

His clinic is responsible for dealing with patients’ pain, rehabilitation, and other issues.

Other medical workers echo that their community health service center has undertaken the task of attending 24 nucleic acid testing booths. Most staff are assigned to do the sampling, and the outpatient service has almost been suspended.

Zhang Lei’s center has been allocated 30 booths, with at least two medical professionals in each stall. Nearly 60 to 70 people are tested daily in each. 

There are only more than 100 people in the center. In other words, more than half of them need to be on duty at the testing booth.

Apart from sample-taking tasks, other colleagues are also given different anti-epidemic work, such as high-speed checkpoints, designated quarantine hotels, and other services.

Consequently, doctors in community hospitals have been quitting their jobs. New doctors who intend to apply for a job learn that they can only do nucleic acid sampling work, so they refuse to apply.

In addition to the closure of clinics and the workforce shortage, the community health service center is suffering from a financial crisis.

The director of the community health service center says that according to the requirements of the superiors, the center should bear all the expenses such as salary and social security payments for the recruits at the nucleic acid testing site. 

In addition, the cost of maintaining nucleic acid testing kiosks is also borne by the center. These expenses may reach several hundred thousand yuan.

China’s Zero-Covid measures and regular nucleic acid testing policies have caused a massive drain of human and financial resources. However, the government still insists on this approach, leading to many complaints from the public and the staff.

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