Monday, March 05, 2018

To health: Credit where due

I can't recall how many times I've recounted experiences with the Chinese medical system, either on this blog or real-time. Whether it's the upstairs-downstairs healthcare, or playing medical tag, with an audience of gawkers, poor Hippocratic attitudes, pushing in, and pushing away, it had always been a ride. I remember warning teachers: you just need to get a medical cert for your sick leave; the rest is a story to tell your folks.

But credit where credit is due to the humble Chinese hospital: it's better now by a long way. It's all about using its obvious strength while ameliorating its weakness with technology. China already had economies of scale. A single hospital has everything - but previously it was a Byzantine bureaucracy of paper and payments: register here, diagnosis there, payments here, treatment there, pay for your medicine/treatment here, collect it there, curl up in a ball and cry/die here.

Now there are payment terminals everywhere, scanning a QR code allows you to pay everything cashlessly. Now you can be treated and tracked simply. Technology serves the masses. Treatment are a salve rather than a rack.

It is a disaster that I've had contact with the medical system thrice on this trip. My sidestrain from eating. My wife's digestive distress. But travel should be about experiencing and in that area I can't complain.

Since I'm often with a glass on this trip: Here's to health.

Post-script: the strange picture is a plastic bag in a ball. They're sold from a vending machine with a QR code. There is no complimentary bag when you collect your meds. It's part of that move to reduce plastic waste.

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