Extremely quick take on China's health system

(This is a continuation of my top ten reasons I may never return to live in China)

One time I was talking with China Wife.  She had mentioned how her Aunt and Uncle were unwilling to move from Chongqing to Shanghai. At the time, Chongqing was still a backwater, with an airport the size of an American high school gym.  I found it strange they weren't willing to return.   China Wife explained it to me in a simple way I could understand:  他们关系在那边。

This opened up my eyes quite a bit;  What if  I didn't have "guanxi"?

What if an ordinary person didn't have "guanxi"?  In an instant I understood the lines.

And I also understood why my inlaws best friends were Doctors.  My mother in law could simply just show up in a hospital, and get treated or looked at.  Sure it helped to no end that my father in law was a highly ranked, retired  provincial official. 

Let's be clear, I would never have a problem with a doctor in China. I would simply go to a more expensive doctor beyond the reach of the ordinary Chinese, perhaps designed for expatriates, with English speaking staff. 

The fifth reason is thus the health system.  I have not really had any problems or concerns with the health system of China in the past.  I've heard many people must pay in advance for treatment, and that's not cool.  I've heard they need that for surgery, too.    Still, the Chinese Health System to date  has worked out well for me.  I've received my hepatitis shots there(this was when I lived in Beijing and the doctor actually spoke English), had out surgery for a cyst(Hangzhou), and not really encountered so many issues regarding long waits in line, for obvious reasons. 

I've also accompanied friends to the hospital, and it seems to have worked out alright for them.

Still there are some disadvantages;  Chinese medicine in my view is not as strong as Western medicine.  When a student in Hangzhou I came down with tonsillitis.  The pain of swallowing was unbearable.  Those who've had it would understand.   Finally I simply had to see a doctor.   They gave me penicillin, and after about 4 days the pain finally went away. 

Soon afterward I went back to the States.   Not long after it reoccurred.   Again I received penicillin. I told the nurse the dosage I had previously received  in China and she was shocked.   The Heavenly Kingdom dosage was only half the American dosage.   She told me by the second day the pain should be gone, and sure enough it was.   Oh, and by the way, my tonsils were so scarred it would be useless to cut them out.   And she was right;  I haven't had it since. 

So if I get ill in China, I'm so worried about the lines, as I would be regarding the dosage.  I don't want to slowly get well, I want it zapped.   American anti-biotics are great.   People talk terribly about the American Health System, and deservedly so, but what people don't say is if one has a good job, and thus a good Plan, the health system in terms of treatment for that person is probably the best in the world.

Notice I didn't say for cost.   Once my  youngest daughter had to go to an emergency room in a local hospital.  She was in a terrible way and it broke my heart seeing my daughter in such pain.  We were there for a few hours, she got her treatments(which she'd had before), and I got the bill. The bill was for $4000.  I called them and offered to pay half.  They responded they do not negotiate.  I responded with "you won't get any then" and that was that.   They could've sued me, but for them it was chump change.   I tried to be reasonable.  I've done that with hospitals or doctors at least three times.  Once I've decided you've made your money, I'll stop paying.  No need to gouge me please.

I would think Chinese hospitals are cheaper than American.  Surely, right?

I criticize America a lot in this blog, but any comparison between America and any other country is more like comparing oil to water.   I can take 10 million illegal hispanics, 10 million poor blacks and dump them in your country and your educational attainment levels would drop too.  As would your local population's lifespan.  And your levels of racist events would soar to historical highs.  I'm not trying to sound racist.  Some will take it that way.   But when America is compared to say Norway or Finland, in any way whatsoever, I have to roll my eyes.  Nevermind ethnically homogeneous nations such as Korea and Japan that don't even want foreigners in their countries long term.    But yes, America's health care system for about 35-40% of our nation abhorrently sucks.  There is no getting around that.  (And yes America is much better off with immigrants.  It's our competitive advantage.)

 Before a trip to China I didn't take a cold I got seriously enough and over time it developed into what seemed the flu.  It had spread to my chest and I couldn't shake it.  I tried everything over the course of a week.  Hot steam baths, all the cold medicine I could find, etc.   I got in to see a doctor next day, though I had to wait 3 hours.  He gave me anti-biotics and I felt like Superman the next day.  I was so overjoyed I called him to thank him.  And two days after that I was on the plane to China.

I'm tired.  I'll continue with reason six later.


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