Many organizations in China are working to offer “high end” services with all the latest technologies and procedures. Despite all this effort throughout the country, there is not much progress in reducing the prevalence of avoidable blindness. China's Cataract Surgery Rate, a key metric of the effectiveness of a country's overall healthcare system, is barely 1,000 cataract surgeries per million population per year, compared to 5,000 in India despite its far lower per-capita GDP, and 6,000-8,000 or higher in industrialized economies.
Vision in Practice has partnered with Xiantao Aipu Hospital in China, and Aravind Eye Care System of Madurai, India, to transform eye services at a typical eye hospital in rural China into a sustainable model of international standard, patient-centered eye care available to the entire community regardless of patients’ ability to pay. The project I’m worked with was focused on a two-pronged approach to meet the challenge: raising the standard of eye care through clinical training and streamlining of patient care processes in collaboration with Aravind’s LAICO consulting arm; and transformative leadership training to establish within the hospital a culture of service and continuous learning.
During the three months, I spent time in both Shanghai and Xiantao to get in touch with ViP and Aipu team to serve their needs. It’s a very unique project and a bold step to collaborate through three countries, two continents.
The experience is brand new to me not only since I stayed in Xiantao alone for such a long time, but also all the work is what I have not done before. I enjoyed doing the interviews and talking with the staff. It makes me feel like a journalist, for which I tried to do better every time.
It was emotional and sometimes put myself in an awkward position. But I enjoyed working with them and helping them deal with all kinds of stuff that I can.
|With founder of Vision in Practice, Jeffrey Parker, and Yu Qing|
My mission may have changed from the beginning of the internship, and I was learning and working a bit slowly during the time, but I still hold the passion for the job and wish to continue the work in the future with better performance. I’ve grown interested in journalism since the internship helps me figure out the crucial of writing and communication skills in the work of a researcher dealing with people and qualitative training.
The major task of my three-months internship was to design the interviewer’s guide, interview the staff there and put together a questionnaire for staff satisfaction.
During the one and a half months, I talked to most of the staff members, I had more than twenty recorded interviews and chatted with patients in the outreach camps. I’ve got a comprehensive idea about the operation of the hospital and the thoughts and feelings of staff about patient care, their colleagues, and the work they do.
I enjoyed this as talking to people is one of the most interesting jobs one can find. With different tone and questions, you can dig out various kinds of information. And through conversations they will show you the clear and genuine part of themselves, all the words they cannot say will be unveiled in their gesture and expression.
Although most people seems to have faith in the hospital, the project and the prosperity of ophthalmology in China, truth is they still need to make huge progress to change the situation for staff, environment for patients and trust for their partners. I can’t forget hearing the complaints from patients, the disappointment from employees and difficulty in the progress of cooperation with their partners.
However, every innovation has its obstacles and Vision in Practice is trying everything they could to focus only on this project for the next three years to make a difference. I believe they could achieve what they desired and wish a bright future for the project. And I've seen so much beautiful things happen in the hospital out of the kindest staff.
|An off-duty nurse preparing cupcakes for the younger patients in hospital|
I turned in the final report to ViP team in Shanghai before I left China, and the conference held in May’s house is quite a pleasure. It’s the first time in three months all of the members of ViP had a meeting together. They’ve created a relax and enjoyable working environment for high quality operation and a wonderful working environment for everyone.
I'm grateful for the internship offered by WDI and ViP giving me a delightful summer, and collaboration with Vision in Practice helped me learned more about what I haven't seen in my home country. The brand new experience taught me how to cherish what we have and give out what others need. Life is simple while living is complicated. Everyone should take chance to experience different lives and stick to our own dreams.