Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Put up your Docs

The economics of health care, Chinese style, as reported in the NY Times;
Medical staff are attacked by patients or their relatives at a rate of once every two weeks per hospital, according to the China Hospital Association, Chinese news agencies reported.
In the last two weeks there have been at least six serious incidents, including in Guangdong Province on Oct. 21, when a Dr. Xiong Xuming was left with a damaged eye and ruptured spleen after being beaten up by a patient’s relatives for refusing to allow them into the intensive care unit, and in Zhejiang Province on Oct. 25, when Dr. Wang Yunjie was stabbed to death by a patient unhappy with his treatment.
 Guess they weren't happy with their health insurance?
The reasons for the problems in China’s health care system are, by now, well known: a widespread lack of trust in doctors and hospital administrators, the high cost of care, long waiting times and short appointments — and corruption, at every level. A public that lacks basic knowledge about medical problems and outcomes is also a factor, commentators say.
But why turn to violence? One reason is illness can bankrupt a family. People who exhaust their savings on care want to see positive results and blame doctors when that’s not possible, commentators say.
Maybe China's politicians weren't telling the people the harsh, hard facts of life either.

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