Basic care in China does not include a stay in a hospital, which would cost about $100 a night compared to a thousand or more in America. Since the best doctors live in the major cities, the best-equipped hospitals are there too.
If a peasant living in the countryside becomes seriously ill, he may have to travel a long distance to get proper medical care. That is, if he has the money. Medical care in China is all about money just like in the United States. Money opens hospital doors and pays the rent for the surgeon’s scalpel. To understand the challenges that come with living in China’s rural areas, I suggest reading this post on Mark’s China Blog.
However, when it comes to drugs, the Chinese government has factories in every province that manufactures drugs at a low cost. This is one commodity where the prices are controlled. For example, a bottle of antibiotics in the U.S. that costs $80 would cost $14 in China. That cost is still out of reach for many rural peasants living on an average hundred dollars a year (six or seven hundred yuan).
Maybe Emperor Wudi from the Han Dyansty had the right idea when he decided that certain necessary commodities and services should not be part of the private market economy.
Sign up for an RSS Feed for iLook China