Tuesday, September 09, 2014

With chemo you get egg roll?

Here's an interesting twist on medical tourism:

"When Lin Tao was diagnosed with a lethal spinal tumor in 2012, doctors in Hangzhou told him he had one option in China—surgery that would replace two sections of his vertebrae and might leave him paralyzed"

Not particularly enamored with the prospect of permanent paralysis, Mr Lin did what any reasonably affluent and rational person would do in such circumstances: he "flew to San Francisco and paid $70,000 UCSF Medical Center,  where doctors recommended that Mr. Lin try radiation therapy," instead.

This despite the fact that China has its own version of the MVNHS
©, guaranteeing "free" health care to its citizens. Of course, that care is often (usually?) substandard - when it's even available. Thus, smart Chinese folks with more than a few yuan to rub together are increasingly turning to other sources:

"The Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., said the number of ts patients from China has more than doubled over the past year."

Which, by the way, accepts only one kind of ObamaPlan, so if yours isn't a Blue Cross/Shield Silver plan, then you're SOL. Unless, of course, you've got that extra $70 large laying around collecting dust.

As it is, hospitals in mainland China aren't exactly models of efficacy:

"[They] struggle to make money. Low-paid doctors are paid for each service and commonly receive kickbacks for drug prescriptions, which can lead to exploitation of patients."

Talk about pay-to-play medicine.

And there's this:

"China ramped up health-care spending more than 13% last year to 820 billion yuan, or around $133 billion ... But the funding barely scratches the surface for a population increasingly plagued by
chronic diseases

That is, another nationalized health care system fails at reining in runaway health care costs. Quelle surprise.

Glad we don't have such problems here.
blog comments powered by Disqus