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CHINA: Medical care

From China,Paul Simon reports: "I could curdle blood with stories of health care (or lack thereof) in the PRC. There are some fine hospitals with adequate physicians and new equipment in a few big cities. There are even a few decent clinics for expats. But rural health care is in a parlous state and getting worse. Many diseases are endemic. There has been much in the press about this and the chapter in Jasper Becker's The Chinese is a nice summary. Some of the doctors I have met have been really on the ball, others were still into "spirits and shadows." Some got very wealthy with private clinics. Others stayed poor and worked in public hospitals, trying their best. I applaud all those souls. Anyone wanting to read my horror tales might try the embassy website; last year my cable on hepatitis and re-used syringes was posted, and it may still be".

My comment. How many US embassies have websites which tourists may consult before undertaking a foreign trip? Like some countries, Mexico requires that graduates of its medical schools must serve for the first few years in a rural area. Can someone give us details and tell us how well the system works?

Ronald Hilton - 4/29/02