NEWBURYPORT — Anna Jaques Hospital has so much to offer to the Greater Newburyport region that it's not uncommon for staff there to give medical professionals from across the region tours of the facility. But it's far less common when they offer a tour to medical professionals from halfway across the planet.
Yesterday, medical professionals and administrators from Hong Kong and Mongolia spent much of the morning touring the hospital and then meeting with the staff there. Those visiting included Dr. Ganzorig Baatar, an oncologist/surgeon from Mongolia; Cheryl Law, a hospital administrator from Hong Kong; Dr. Michelle Cheung, a Chinese medicine doctor from Hong Kong; Louise Sin, a registered nurse; Dr. Jennifer Mok, an ophthalmologist from Hong Kong; and the team leader, Dr. Vito Lee.
The six, who are part of the Rotary International group exchange team, were in the region from May 6 to 10. In addition to a stop in Newburyport, the team visited hospitals in Maine and New Hampshire. In between, they spent the weekend eating lunch at Boston's famous Durgin Park restaurant and taking in a Red Sox game.
After meeting with Anna Jaques Hospital President Delia O'Connor, the team toured the building and then split up to meet with counterparts in their own fields.
Following their visit to the hospital, the team traveled to Glenn's Restaurant & Cool Bar on Merrimac Street for a luncheon with Newburyport Rotarians. At the luncheon, members took turns talking about their interests outside of medicine, their families, and then about the Hong Kong and Mongolian medical systems.
They also spent a few moments singing a few bars of the Neil Diamond hit "Sweet Caroline," played during each Red Sox game.
The 40 or so local Rotarians who filled a majority of the restaurant gasped when told, for example, that one day in a Hong Kong public hospital inpatient unit costs a patient between $9 and $13. Also leaving an impression was the fact that someone without health insurance can walk into a public Hong Kong hospital and expect to pay around $6 for general outpatient care. That includes lab tests, prescriptions and other services, according to the team members.