If you get sick in China….

choose your hospital carefully. Yikes.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 15 Comments

I just read where a man had surgery to remove a stomach clamp from a previous procedure he had done 19 years ago!

wha?

July 30, 2004 @ 8:50 pm | Comment

In China?

July 30, 2004 @ 8:50 pm | Comment

It saddens me to hear incidents like this, where a life has been so callously discarded. But these are the symptoms of a society long used to poverty, deprivations and intense competition. I have seen such similar callousness to human lives in certain places in India, Indonesia, Philippines and other 3rd world nations – Sudan would certainly top this group today.

China still has a long way to go before its society can shrug off the ‘hangover’ of yesteryears, and accept its responsibilities as an advanced nation.

July 30, 2004 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

From this reading and our personal experiences in China, it’s hard for me to say “an advanced nation”. China does have a long way to go sorry to say.

July 30, 2004 @ 11:02 pm | Comment

Somehow I believe that’s precisely what I said. I look up, and voila, there’s my posting just above yours, and yes, I did say that.

I am beginning to agree with Jing that some’s readiness to think the worst of China has clouded not only their judgement but their eyes as well.

July 31, 2004 @ 12:17 am | Comment

Richard, yes, in China.

And I don’t agree with the assessment of callousness in Indonesia. Okay, so I’ve only been to Bali, but by large I’ve never met a more polite and sophisticated bunch of a people.

Okay, so I only stayed in two hotels and ate at one restaurant.

Okay, so I actually only hung out on the beach.

July 31, 2004 @ 12:43 am | Comment

At least a passerby tried to help him. I know through experience that this is not something you can take for granted in China.

July 31, 2004 @ 12:57 am | Comment

Chinese newspaper Nanfang Weekend has a through report about this issue with such a headline: Inside Investigation of Cold Blood Hospital, and published as its coverstory of the newest issue.

According to Nanfang Weekend report, it is “usual” for that hospital, XinZheng Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital to leave the patients who suffer from serious illness, especially after the hospital was reformed by joint-stock systems. The president of the hospitall, Zhao Peilin who hold the 66.7% stock of the hospital is a “peasant entrepreneur”, and he agreed to leave the patient who suffered from serious traffic accident.

The hospital side felt disaffected when the journalist reported this issue. “we did lots of charitable things and cure the patients free before, and even got award from the common people, why you did not report them? ” Oh, this let me think of that old Chinese saying: good things will not come out of the door,and bad things can spread to more than 1000 miles away .

Check the Chinese version of Nanfang Weekend as your reference:
http://www.nanfangdaily.com.cn/zm/20040729/xw/tb/200407290001.asp

July 31, 2004 @ 1:42 am | Comment

I have been in and out of Indonesia a fair number of times (Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, Bali), though admittedly not lately. The longest I had been in that country for a stretch when I lived, studied and worked with their military, was just for a year. But it was sufficient time for me to form a basic idea of what went on there. I met some wonderful people, and very rich ones, but I had met nasties as well, and very very poor folks – you can’t imagine how poor.

I’ve been to those countries I mentioned, except for Sudan.

July 31, 2004 @ 6:02 am | Comment

let me recall two other incidents.

one, the beijing lattern festival bridge incident in which many people were crushed. the ambulances started bringing dozens of seriously injured people to the neighoring hospitals. the hospitals tried to demand pre-payments before admission but wisely backed off when they saw that they were staring at a mob ready to kill them.

two, a tourist bus of Hong Kong tourists was in an accident in China recently. many passengers were treated at a hospital for minor injuries. because they were ‘foreign guests’ brought in en masse, the hospital could not demand the usual pre-payment. and the hospital did not have enough people to restrain the patients from leaving en masse either. thankfully, the provincial government paid the bill of about 700 RMB per person.

the core problem is this: the hosptial is held to its own profit/loss bottomline. it is not a charity with unlimited funds. what is a hospital to do? for reference, see the George C. Scott movie, The Hospital.

July 31, 2004 @ 10:57 am | Comment

Ben, thanks so much for your comment. It sounds like this might not be that unusual a thing in China — so why has it become such a big story in the Chinese media?

eswn, good question: what’s a hospital to do? All you ever hear about on CCTV is the glories of Chinese socialism. Isn’t socialism supposed to take care of things like this? If it doesn’t, maybe we should alert CCTV and let them know they are describing China inaccurately, and that they need to stop crowing about socialism. (Hah.)

July 31, 2004 @ 1:42 pm | Comment

losers are always losers, because only losers always bear a negative attitude, complains and critisize all the time without good purpose, this attitude won’t help him successful anyway! becaue i met successful american too, they try to enjoy to good sides, also critisize the bed sides, but speak with good purpose, not like the losers here, complaining the CCP, complaining the chinese people, complaining the house they live, complaining the water they drink, complaining the food they eat here, complaining the taxi, complaining the hospital etc, complaining everything, i just don’t understand if there is nothing good here, why should they come to china??? they even laugh at the poor chinese here as if they were rich, all forgot how much debt they own to the credit card company in their own country, yes, many chinese live in shitty house, but remind losers here, you own nothing, besides, even so, most chinese treat you losers friendly enough, while they are not worth of getting you to laugh at them! losers! asshole!!!

August 1, 2004 @ 3:38 am | Comment

hey richard.. can you make your comments page popup RESIZABLE? i don’t know why it’s been giving horizontal scrollbars and it’s annoying that i can’t resize the window to get rid of it. i mean who wants to scroll both vertically and horizontally to read something? @_@

August 1, 2004 @ 5:21 pm | Comment

Dodo, I don’t know what the problem is and I’ve never had anyone bring it up before. If you click on the post itself, so you’re not reading from the main page and the comments don’t need to pop up separately, it should be okay. Apologies.

August 1, 2004 @ 5:34 pm | Comment

dodo, try F11 to get a full screen page, and F11 again to return to the standard and smaller size comment page. I hope thsi meets your req

August 1, 2004 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

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