COVID-19 has affected primary health-care delivery in metropolitan areas. An integrated health-care system offers advantages in response to the community outbreak and transmission of highly infectious diseases.
On the basis of practitioner experience with a pioneering integrated health-care system in Shenzhen, China, this article presents the following effective strategies in response to the epidemic: (1) enhance the public workforce in primary health care; (2) integrate resources to allow regional sharing and efficient use; (3) employ teams centered on general practitioners for community containment; and (4) adopt e-health and telemedicine for healthcare delivery.
An integrated health-care system is usually very specific to a particular regional context; however, the core strategies and mechanisms based on the Luohu model can contribute to improving the public health capacity in emergency responses; they can transform health-care delivery in the COVID-19 epidemic.
The experience in Shenzhen may help other cities in enhancing and coordinating the preparedness of their health-care systems in dealing with future public health emergencies.