Medical social work in Foshan
This chapter provides an overview of how government purchasing social work services, in particular, medical social work service, from non-governmental organizations. The unique experience of Nanhai, a district of Foshan City in southern China, is used to illustrate the emergence of NGOs, and the attempts of local government in formulating policies within the complex multi-tier administrative system in response to newly identified social service needs. Aiming to reduce the tensions between medical personnel and patients and to enhance the caring element in various categories of hospitals, the Nanhai government has initiated to fund and establish medical social work teams operated by NGOs in several hospitals. The setting of service standards is intended to enhance the service quality of the work team as well as to raise the support for social work in the hospital setting. The contents and limitations of implementing the standards are discussed.