Chongming Island residents are enjoying much better medical treatment since a trial medical union was set up in 2011 to integrate local resources.
The island's health authority said over the weekend that more than 97 percent of Chongming residents now use local hospitals rather than traveling to downtown for medical treatment.
This was 7 percent point higher than the national standard.
Yang Bao, who has uremia, used have to leave home at 5am to take nearly three hours on the bus to get to a city-level hospital in downtown for medical treatment. "Now all necessary examinations and dialysis are available on the island, which saves me a lot of trouble," the 31-year-old said.
Many islanders with critical diseases shared similar experiences to Yang, and some even had to spend the night in downtown if they missed the last bus. The distance from the island to medical facilities downtown could even be fatal for emergency patients.
To resolve the situation, Chongming government worked with Xinhua Hospital to build a branch hospital on the island.
With medical experts and advanced projects introduced from the general hospital, Xinhua Hospital's Chongming Branch met city-level hospital standards in 2012, becoming the island's first and only city-level hospital.
Medical resources now cover such areas as cardiology, cancer, rehabilitation medicine and kidney diseases.
"Patients with uremia have to take three hemodialysis sessions a week. However, when I first came here I was surprised that many people only did so once a week," said Dr. Zhu Chun from the branch hospital.
"The machines here were old and not enough, and it was also troublesome to go to downtown." Now the hospital had 43 hemodialysis machines, up from 16.