» 10/04/2005, 00.00
Only those with money can afford health care in China
For 20 years hospitals have been run on a profit basis. Only a minority is covered by medical insurance; others sell what they own or try their own remedies. Hospitals often prescribe unnecessary treatment and drugs.
For Chinese farmers, ten yuan can be the price of life
Even though seeing the doctor can cost as little as ten yuan, health care costs are amongst the main causes of rural poverty. Farmers are forced to rely on homemade remedies whilst hospital beds in nearby facilities are left empty.
Beijing's ex-Party secretary walks after eight years in jail
He was released for "health reasons" notwithstanding his 16-year sentence for corruption. Another man released from prison was Zhu Xiaohua, one of China's most brilliant financial minds, who was condemned to 15 years, also for corruption.
Beijing announces major health reform, but doesn't say how it will be implemented
A clear rejection of the current hospital system, run by companies that must make a profit. The "non-profit nature" of health care is affirmed instead, and the desire to guarantee that it can be used by all. But experts note the lack of specific guidelines for implementation.
Two Indian-owned hospitals closed by Maoist union strike
The workers are asking for higher wages. The two clinics are providing only emergency services, and hundreds of people are without medical care. The Maoist prime minister is calling for an end to the "strike culture," which has caused crisis in the economy and in commercial relations with foreign partners.
Poor farmers left to die in their homes
Almost 80% of the ill farmers die at home with no medical care. Central government is promoting a new model of rural health co-operatives and scholarships to medical students from poor areas.
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