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|Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital|
A China News Service journalist visits the Xiaotangshan Hospital
|Location||Xiaotangshan, Changping, Beijing|
The Beijing Xiaotangshan Recovery Hospital (Chinese: 北京市小汤山康复医院; pinyin: Běijīngshì Xiǎotāngshān Kāngfù Yīyuàn), also known as the Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital, is a tertiary-level general hospital in Xiaotangshan Township, Changping District, Beijing, China occupying approximately 33 hectares of land.
Xiaotangshan (Chinese: 小汤山; pinyin: Xiǎotāngshān, literally "Little Waters Mountain") is a mountain so named due to the hot springs found on it. The Xiaotangshan Recovery Hospital's predecessor, the Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital, was established in 1958; it was given its current name in 1985.. During the 2003 SARS outbreak, the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China and the Beijing municipal government made use of land set apart for the hospital's future development to establish a separate hospital to treat SARS, the Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital. This temporary hospital was later removed in 2010. On 21 January, 2020, due to the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the city of Beijing commenced work to reconstruct and renovate the hospital to support disease control efforts.
In 1958, the Ministry of Health's Xiaotangshan Sanatorium joined together with the People's Liberation Army's 123rd Sanatorium and 107th Huabei Military Area Sanatorium, as well as the All-China Federation of Trade Unions's Xiaotangshan Hot Springs Sanatorium to form the Beijing Xiaotangshan Sanatorium, operated by the People's Liberation Army General Logistics Department as a sanatorium for the rehabilitation and recovery of patients.
In 1982, the complex was renamed the Beijing Recovery Center and management was transferred to the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau. In 1988, signage was added to indicate that the complex was also the Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital.
At present, the Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital focuses on physical medicine and rehabilitation, with a specialization in nervous system damage, bone and joint illness, and the clinical treatment and rehabilitation of chronic diseases. The hospital features hot springs facilities used in treatment and rehabilitation. The Beijing hospital system mainly sends patients in a subacute or recovery stage to the Xiaotangshan Hospital for rehabilitative treatment.
Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital
|People's Liberation Army Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital|
|Type||Infectious disease hospital|
At the most severe point in the 2003 SARS epidemic, Beijing's major hospitals faced overcrowding and a lack of available beds. On April 22, experts from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that, due to the lack of available beds at hospitals, Sanatoriums—especially the relatively well-equipped Xiaotangshan Sanatorium—could be repurposed for the treatment of SARS patients. Following this, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Deputy Minister Zhu Qingsheng and Beijing Deputy Mayor Liu Jingmin inspected Xiaotangshan grounds and concluded that it was a suitable site for the construction of a new hospital: although the sanatorium itself only had 200 beds, it had conserved large swaths of land for future development, and its surrounding land was open and easy for construction machinery to operate on. In addition, with the Jingmi Diversion Channel just four kilometers north of the sanatorium, wastewater could receive specialized processing without affecting Beijing's water supply.
On April 22, the State Council of the People's Republic of China decided to approve funding for the requisition of 40.3 hectares of land from the Xiaotangshan area to construct the world's then-largest field hospital for infectious diseases. All SARS patients in Beijing hospitals were to receive centralized treatment at this hospital, and the construction operatons were to be directed by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and the municipal government of Beijing. On the evening of February 22, the Beijing Construction Commission dispatched about 4,000 workers and about 500 machinery and equipment, and all six large construction groups in Beijing went on the construction area. On April 23, construction began on the new hospital. On April 29, the hospital was completed and passed inspections. On April 30, the Center for Disease Control and Beijing's municipal government announced that the hospital is being handed over for use, and the hospital was named the Chinese People's Liberation Army Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital (Beijing Xiaotangshan Hospital SARS Ward), referred to in short as the Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital. The Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital was a primary-level infectious disease hospital and the world's then-largest infectious disease hospital, setting a world record for the time required to construct a hospital. In April 2010, communications department personnel at the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau indicated that, strictly speaking, there was no "Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital", as it was not constructed as a hospital but rather a field treatment center.
On the night of May 1, 2003, the hospital began accepting SARS patients from across the country. The People's Liberation Army transferred 1200 military medical staff to the hospital to conduct treatment. The Xiaotangshan Hospital accepted 680 SARS patients in total, which was one-tenth of worldwide cases and one-seventh of cases in China.
In the end, 672 patients at the hospital successfully recovered. Out of the 1383 medical staff who participated in treatment and care at the hospital, none were infected. Early in the morning of June 23, 900 members of medical staff became the first to be recalled from Beijing. On June 24, the World Health Organization announced that Beijing had been taken off of the list of active SARS epidemic zones.
The Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital was constructed using lightweight materials and mainly consisted of a single story. The hospital was divided into three areas: a tightly-controlled area for patients, a buffer zone consisting of the living quarters of the medical staff, and a clean zone consisting of administrative and logistics offices. The personnel were segregated into these zones in order to avoid the spread of disease. The patients area itself was separated into the East and West wings that respectively treated confirmed and suspected cases. Each patient zone had six rows of rooms for patients. Rooms for X-ray imaging, CT imaging, and surgical operations were found on the south side, while the north side housed intensive care units, examination rooms, and clinical laboratories. Each patient room had approximately 15 square meters of space. Rooms were equipped with bathrooms, electric lamps, medical alert systems, an oxygen supply, telephones, televisions, and air conditioning.
After the SARS outbreak
After the end of the SARS epidemic, the hospital was abandoned as its facilities ceased to be necessary. Prior to its deconstruction in 2010, it was once considered as a potential asset in the case of a future outbreak. In 2009, Zeng Guang, an epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control, indicated that should a mass-scale outbreak occur in Beijing, it could become useful for processing patients once other hospitals were no longer able to take in more. However, due to long-term abandonment, the hospital grounds had severely deteriorated and had been grown in with weeds, earning it the moniker of China's Silent Hill.
On April 2, 2010, the Beijing Municipal Health Bureau announced it was demolishing the Xiaotangshan Hospital's SARS wards.
On January 29, 2020, to combat the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Beijing authorities decided to restore the Xiaotangshan SARS Hospital and dispatched workers to engage in reconstruction and restore the hospital's facilities.
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