Hospitals in ris and polyclinics in dongs are the grassroots public health institutions in the DPRK where the universal free medical care is enforced, by which the state takes responsible care of health of the people.
Public health is usually protected by the section doctor system whereby doctors take charge of certain residential areas to look after the health of their residents.
“A few days ago, my son suddenly got ill and the household doctor rushed to my house to give medical treatment to him even at midnight. If we asked for a sick call at any time, he would come immediately. It seemed as if the hospital was just in front of our home,” said Choe Hye Song, a resident of Kwangbok-dong No. 1 in Mangyongdae District, Pyongyang.
She added that thanks to the household doctors who always look after the health of residents and treat diseases in good time, residents live free from worries about diseases.
“We, household doctors, are usually on our rounds of sick calls. Those of our clinic grasp the number of families and residents of neighbourhood units under their charge in detail and take appropriate preventive measures to make sure that none of them would fall ill,” said Kim Un Gyong, doctor of the Kwangbok Polyclinic in Mangyongdae District.
According to her, doctors of the polyclinic visit the areas in their charge not only to give medical treatment to them, but also to conduct information activities to prevent various kinds of infectious diseases and pay special attention to the health of old persons, children and pregnant women.
Under the regular system of giving medical treatment to visiting patients in the morning and visiting residents in their charge to treat them in the afternoon, household doctors in the polyclinic keep abreast of the health conditions of the residents and take timely preventive measures.
These days, in particular, when there is a sharp temperature difference between day and night, they conduct vigorous hygienic information activities to prevent diseases in residential areas and workplaces in their charge and take preventive measures for registered chronic invalids.
In the course of it they displayed numerous admirable traits of devoting themselves to the improvement of the health of residents.
Though most of them are married women with children and families, they make every effort to look after the health of residents, visiting emergency cases to give medical treatment at any time, doing health checkups of residents in their charge every day and preparing medicines and tonics for medical treatment of war veterans and honoured disabled soldiers.
“My father-in-law was once seriously ill and all the family members were very worried about him. At that time the household doctor came and consoled us, saying he would revive him without fail. And he spent all night giving medical treatment to him and finally brought him back to life. Without our household doctor, my father would not have been resuscitated,” said Ri Hyon Sim, a woman living in neighbourhood unit No. 22, Kwangbok-dong No. 1.