Baby Dead After Hospital Refuses to Send Ambulance Without Payment

Ambulance refused to leave and asked for money

From NetEase:

Hunan Ambulance Won’t Depart Without Payment; Baby Dead After 1 Hour Delay in Hospital Transfer

“Please, for the love of this little life, first take my child to Changsha. My husband will wait in the hospital there and pay you immediately after you arrive.” This was the evening of 2013 December 23, the imploring of the mother of a critically ill baby towards the 120 emergency dispatch center of the Xiangxiang People’s Hospital.

But the reply of the person on duty was this ice-cold: “No! We have regulations, that you must pay 800 yuan first. If you don’t pay, we can’t dispatch an ambulance.” By the time kind-hearted people helped this mother put together 800 yuan, more than an hour had passed. Though eventually transferred to provincial children’s hospital for emergency medical treatment, the 13-month-old child still unfortunately died.

Child suddenly falls critically ill

Clinic doctor kindly took [the baby to the hospital]

January 5, in Xiangxiang, while holding her son Xiang Xiang’s, Ms. Tan remains unable to suppress her sorrow.

On the evening of 2013 December 23, Xiang Xiang suddenly began crying without stopping, with an expression of pained suffering. Ms. Tan hurriedly carried her baby to the nearby clinic. At that time, she only had a little more than 100 yuan on her.

After a simple examination, the clinic found the child’s illness to be very serious, and suggested that Ms Tan hurry and bring the baby to the Xiangxiang City People’s Hospital. Seeing that it was already getting late, and that there were no cars [taxis] on the road, the warm-hearted clinic doctor drove Ms. Tan and her son to Xiangxiang People’s Hospital in his own car, without asking for any car fare.

By the time they arrived at the city’s People’s Hospital, it was already 7:10pm. The hospital examined Xiangxiang, and the results came back at 9:11pm. The doctor looked at the test results, told Ms. Tan that the baby’s illness was very serious, and had her contact an ambulance to immediately transfer to the Provincial Children’s Hospital.

Sick baby’s mother begged

120 said no payment, no dispatching of ambulance

At this point, the baby’s whole body was cold, face pale, and was short of breath. Ms. Tan hurriedly ran to the Xiangxiang People’s Hospital 120 emergency center, contacting the ambulance to transfer hospitals. The staff on duty said, from Xiangxiang to Changsha, 800 yuan fee must be paid.

Ms. Tan said, “I don’t have that much money on me, first help take my child to Changsha. My husband will wait in the hospital there and immediately give you the money upon arrival.” Ms Tan’s husband was also on the phone repeatedly begging, “bring the child here, I’m waiting here at the hospital and will immediately pay the money once the car arrives.”

The staff replied: “No. The hospital has regulations, that can’t be done.” Ms Tan pleaded again: “Please, for the love of this little life, do a good deed!” The staff answered: “Where is there such a thing? How can [the ambulance] go without money being paid? “

Helpless, Tan could only call all over the place to raise money. At this time, upon seeing Ms. Tan at her wits end, several complete strangers–the family members of other hospital patients–in the hallway each took out 200 yuan, handing it to her. Ms Tan then hurriedly gave the 800 yuan assembled to the payment office.

baby dies after an ambulance delay over a payment dispute

Delayed for more than an hour

Child dies after being transferred to Changsha

Only after receiving the money did the ambulance depart, taking Ms. Tan and her son to the provincial children’s hospital. Regrettably, Xiang Xiang unfortunately still ultimately died on December 24 at 2am. The death record shows that he died of heart and respiratory failure.

“From 9:40 that evening when the ambulance was contacted until 10:50 when it departed, for 800 yuan, there was a delay of more than an hour,” said Ms Tan, “The doctors are the Provincial Children’s Hospital said, ‘if you had brought [the baby] just a bit sooner, there might have been hope for the child.'”

On the wall of the 120 emergency center at Xiangxiang People’s Hospital hangs banners such as “Time Is Life”. After the incident, facing questions, the staff continued to maintain that paying first before sending the ambulance is the regulation of the hospital’s first aid center, and is the same even for critical ill patients.

A grieving Ms. Tan who lost her son asks: “Why does a hospital that should help the dying and heal the injured put money first? Is a life not worth even 800 yuan? It’s truly too cold-blooded. Can this still be called a hospital?”

Reporter investigation

Many Xiangxiang hospital fees exceed standards

And only after paying money can [an ambulance] depart

The Provincial Price Bureau and Provincial Health Department previously released on September 2012 a “Notice of Adjustment to Standard Prices for Medical Services in our Province” stipulating: For provincial, municipal, and county hospitals dispatching an ambulance, the fare is 10 yuan within 3 kilometers, and after 3 kilometers, it is 2 yuan for each additional kilometer.

From Xiangxiang People’s Hospital to the Provincial Children’s Hospital, the route is about 100-110km. Calculating a 200-220km round-trip, the ambulance fare should be 404 yuan to 440 yuan. However, Xiangxiang People’s Hospital charged 800 yuan, obviously exceeding regulations.

This reporters visited and found that in addition to this hospital, Xiangxiang Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Dongshan Hospital and the first aid centers of many other hospitals all charge 800 yuan or 850 yuan to transport patients to Changsha, and also require payment first, or else they won’t send the ambulance.

[…]

Comments from NetEase:

梵高遛狗不挑品种 [网易山东省东营市网友]:

I know the responsibility is on multiple parties, but if the child was mine, I think I would’ve stabbed this driver!

网易江苏省连云港市手机网友 ip:114.237.*.*

The ambulance [service contract] must have been given to the relatives of hospital director or the local health bureau chief. Strongly suggest that President Xi personally rectify medical ethics throughout the country!

ShuiHen [网易上海市松江区网友]:

This part of the reason why modern people aren’t very willing to return to living in small [rural, less developed] places, and insist on squeezing into in big cities.
The healthcare, education, transportation, various systems in a small place are all lacking! How would places like that attract anyone?!

网易湖北省十堰市网友(61.184.*.*):

The child’s parents also have responsibility that is difficult to shirk. When [the baby] was being transferred to the large hospital, why didn’t the baby’s mother take money or do anything in anticipation [of expected expenses]? This kind of thing should is already a big situation, and if you don’t have time, you can contact friends and family, so why was there no anticipation at all?
Second, the hospital staff have responsibility, but society overall is also unable to escape responsibility. In this day and age where public morals decline by the day, where honesty/good faith has collapsed, where people laugh at poverty but not prostitution [believing immorality is better than poverty], people who skip out on paying, who cause problems at hospitals, who even defraud others can be found everywhere. To be honest, it isn’t easy for ambulance operators to make a living either. If there can be less skipping out on paying and more positive energy spread around [social reinforcement of positive ethics and behavior], I think it would give ambulance operators more motivation.
Health care reform indeed needs to take a big step. A few days ago I saw a saying: “The ordinary common people spend the first half of their life exchanging their life for money, and spend the latter half of their lives exchanging money for life.” But what if you get sick while you’re still in the stage of using life to make money?

网易浙江省杭州市手机网友 ip:211.140.*.*: (responding to above)

You are stupid! Who would know it was so serious. Do you happen to bring thousands with you to the hospital every time?

Comments from QQ:

喓长﹏ ┾断:

Don’t tell me all hospitals make regulations like your hospital does? Not dispatching ambulances without first seeing money, this is clearly putting money first so what’s the use of having a 120 [emergency services number] like you…? When you are on your dying breath, if you had to choose between life and money, would you still choose money???????

米基亚的长矛:

This is a problem of “being too rigid when doing things” [being too strict with rules and not knowing when to bend/break them]? [No,] this is a problem with the hospital being too cold-blooded!
Shouldn’t ambulances be for the public good/welfare? What other country’s ambulances are like China’s where no payment means no dispatching? Where’s the funding for medical care and public health? What about the taxes the people have paid?

性感源代码:

What is critically ill! Who defines it? Who dares to define it? There was nothing the hospital could do either! After all, the hospital has to continue operating! When the higher-ups don’t give money [funding], what can the hospital do?! Our hospital here doesn’t even take patients anymore! Any patient that comes is told to transfer to another hospital! We’ll say our skills are limited, our level of care is limited, that we don’t want to delay you/waste your time. Even if we could take care of you, we won’t, because to treat a patient would mean the doctors don’t make any money! At 3 thousand yuan a month, the doctors are all very negative! [The doctors] tell me in private: “Go wherever I want to go to see a doctor! With this little money, I don’t have the energy to serve you. Just taking some patients with minor illness is enough. However much money I get is however much treatment I’ll provide!

橡皮泥X:

You can use your own law to go do certain things. Your child is gone now. With today’s society, you have to have your own set of laws.

f22猛禽:

This is the difference between China and Europe/America, doing things so rigidly without courage/daring [to make exceptions], what a tragedy

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  • mr.wiener

    Hmm, really hoping this one doesn’t turn into a bun-fight over Obama-care.
    A tragedy none the less.

  • ESL Ninja

    Scum

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Sad indeed. And what scumbags they are.

    However…

    If you don’t even have 800 bucks, why would you even have a kid in the first place? That’s child endangerment right there.

    • ESL Ninja

      Maybe I missed something but I think that the problem was that she wasn’t carrying the money at the time, her husband was prepared to pay upon arrival. Maybe he holds all the cards or something…?

      • Surfeit

        True.

    • vonskippy

      Congrats – that’s the dumbest thing I read on the net all day.

  • Surfeit

    A sad story. Made even worse by the unveiling of an unfair price for the service at hand. As heartless as the hospital staff seem, I’m confident they were given their marching orders by some other devil reincarnate. Nothing surprises me anymore, there’s a troubling thought.

  • Guest

    I had worked for Hospital and a medical university in China for three years. My first girlfriend was a nurse at the hospital. She told me stories all the time of them sending people home to die because they didn’t have money.
    Latter, I learned firsthand how bad it really was my last year working for them, when I was with my second girlfriend in China. She needed an expensive operation where she would have to stay for days in the hospital. I did not have all the cash upfront at the time. My hospital I worked for in Chongqing would not give her the operation without the money up front. I offered them to deduct it from my pay, but they refused.
    I had to take on an “illegal” teaching job to raise the money myself for her operation. Three months I needed to work to raise the money.

    By the time I did have all the money for the operation they inform me they I need to make a expensive and meaningless visa run to Hong Kong. They had changed the rules for foreigners that year. The problem is Chinese hospitals do not feed the patients, friends or family need to bring them food every day. I was the only one she had in Chongqing since she was from Nanjing. I fought with them to be able to stay and not have the additional expense of the visa run so I could pay for and be there for her operation. They would not bend at all.

    I told them “I am a ‘foreign devil’ willing to pay and care for a Chinese citizen’s
    medical care and you will not only not help me help her, but instead are making
    it more difficult to do so?”

    “Rules” was the reply I always got from the campus foreign office. All party members I want to note.

    “Well, who makes up the rules? Let me talk to them.” I would ask.

    “We don’t know.” was the response I always got.

    When I insisted to see the President of the university or the hospital, they told me they do not know where their offices were. I even asked the campus security
    guards for the Presidents’ offices and they would only redirect back to the campus foreign office. I was then branded “troublesome” because I was trying
    to help one of their own.

  • Guest

    I had worked for Hospital and a medical university in China for three
    years. My first girlfriend there was a nurse at the hospital. She told me stories all
    the time of them sending people home to die because they didn’t have money upfront.

    Later, I learned firsthand how bad it really was my last year working for
    them. By that time I was with my second girlfriend in China. She needed an expensive operation where she would have to stay for days in the hospital. I did not have all the cash upfront at the time. My hospital I worked for in Chongqing would not give her the operation without the money up front. I offered them to deduct it from my pay, but they refused.

    I had to take on an “illegal” teaching job to raise the money myself for her operation. Three months I would need to work to [ay back the money. They were though kind enough to pay me upfront so I could pay for the operation.

    To make matters worse, once I did have the money on hand the foreign office informs me the government has changed the visa rules and I would have to
    make a expensive and meaningless visa run to Hong Kong. The problem is Chinese hospitals do not feed the patients, friends or family need to bring them food every day. I was the only one she had in Chongqing since she was from Nanjing.
    I fought with them to be able to stay and not have the additional expense of the visa run so I could pay for and be there for her operation. Every other year they could renew my visa in Chongqing now of all times they want me to fly to Hong Kong for a stamp? They would not bend at all.

    I told them “I am a ‘foreign devil’ willing to pay and care for a Chinese
    citizen’s medical care and you will not only not help me help her, but instead are making it more difficult for me to do so?”

    “Rules” was the reply I always got from the campus foreign office. All party members I want to note.

    “Well, who makes up the rules? Let me talk to them.” I would ask.

    “We don’t know.” was the response I always given.

    When I insisted to see the President of the university or the hospital, they
    told me they “do not know where their offices are.” I even asked the campus
    security at the front gate in Chinese for the the Presidents’ offices and they would only redirect me back to the campus foreign office.
    I was then branded “troublesome” because I was willing to fight to help one of their own.

  • Joe

    This is one reason many black ambulance services exist in China especially at private hospitals, although they are just as bad as the state-own ones since they can refuse to take on patients if they are deemed liable for any death during transfer.

  • Wodowsan

    I had worked for a Hospital and a medical university in China for three years. My first girlfriend there was a nurse at the hospital. She told me stories all the time of them sending people home to die because they didn’t have money upfront.

    Later, I learned firsthand how bad it really was my last year working for them.
    By that time I was with my second girlfriend in China. She needed an expensive
    operation where she would have to stay for days in the hospital. I did not have
    all the cash upfront at the time. My hospital I worked for in Chongqing would
    not give her the operation without the money up front. I offered them to deduct
    it from my pay, but they refused.

    I had to take on an “illegal” teaching job to raise the money myself for her operation. Three months I would need to work to pay back the money. They
    were though kind enough to pay me upfront so I could pay for the operation.

    To make matters worse, once I did have the money on hand the foreign office informs me the government has changed the visa rules and I would have to make an expensive and meaningless visa run to Hong Kong.

    The problem is Chinese hospitals do not feed the patients, friends or family need to bring them food every day. I was the only one she had in Chongqing since she was from Nanjing.

    I fought with them to be able to stay and not have the additional expense of
    the visa run so I could pay for and be there for her operation. Every other
    year they could renew my visa in Chongqing now of all times they want me to fly
    to Hong Kong for a stamp? They would not bend at all.

    I told them “I am a ‘foreign devil’ willing to pay and care for a Chinese citizen’s
    medical care and you will not only not help me help her, but instead are making
    it more difficult for me to do so?”

    “Rules” was the reply I always got from the campus foreign office. All party members I want to note.

    “Well, who makes up the rules? Let me talk to them.” I would ask.

    “We don’t know.” was the response I always given..

    When I insisted to see the President of the university or the hospital, they told
    me they “do not know where their offices are.” I even asked the campus security at the front gate in Chinese for the Presidents’ offices and they would only redirect me back to the campus foreign office.

    I was then branded “troublesome” because I was willing to fight to help one of their own.

    • Zappa Frank

      I don’t think that they care if you were helping a Chinese, probably they would be more willing to do an exception for a foreigner, not for love, but for fear to have problems later

    • Alexander

      Is it possible to delete your two previous posts of the same exact story…

      • Wodowsan

        I tried to. It just changed the heading to guest.

        • Alexander

          I blame it on your computer, try kicking your computer in the balls, that usually is the best way to get it do to what you want, especially if you are using a Microsoft OS.

          • Wodowsan

            It’s a girl computer
            and I would never hit a girl.

          • Alexander

            fair enough, just don’t stick you penis in the USB port….

          • Wodowsan

            don’t worry, it is not that type of relationship.

          • Alexander

            I’m skeptical at this point.

          • David

            Of course if ti is Microsoft OS, it does not have balls.

        • Kai

          I deleted them for you. “Deleting” by commenters only publically anonymizes the comment. Only mods can actually delete comments. Just try to avoid double/triple-posting comments. If it was a momentary technical issue, that’s fine, it happens.

          • Wodowsan

            thanks

          • Not if your session management is set correctly on the server….

          • Kai

            Can you elaborate? The Disqus comments system is embedded so its not exactly directly controlled by our server. Moreover, if it was something on our end, it should affect more than just one commenter one time. I was thinking maybe they had a Wodowsan might’ve had a technical issue with his browser or connection that resulted in hip posting the same comment thrice. If everyone commenting at that time suddenly had 3x the comments, then it’d suggest something on our end (or Disqus’s end).

          • Ah disqus…..indeed. Basically it should check for the number of updates for a given sess_id and block those that happen faster than what is reasonably expected of a human. Also doing a hash of them and seeing the same result is also a give away that there is a problem.

    • xiaode

      if it´s about putting money into their own pockets, noone in China give a fuck about “rules”, rules are only there to use to make your own (work)life more comfortable… in cases someone ask you to do sth. extra / outside your job… sth. that could cause some trouble for yourself… than there is a “rule” that you don´t need to do it…
      .. at least that´s my experience and the experience of many people i know here!

      fuck!

    • Germandude

      So what happened in the end? Did you manage to pay for the operation? Was it not possible for you to ask some friends/relatives back home to lend you some money? (Just asking, no offense intended).

      A system should work for the people and not the people should work for the system. Sadly, this is the problem in China.

      My wife had an operation in Germany that cost well more than EUR 100k, but since she was insured as a student, she only had to pay approx. EUR 200 for some doctors filing to get that operation done in the hospital nearby, rather than in the city she was studying in. Initially, her family wanted her to have the operation in China, because they thought it’s cheaper.
      When my wife had a skype call with her mother, her mother thought that she was in a hotel.
      Later on that year, we went to China for a visit and visited her grandma in the hospital and let me tell you, there is simply no way I or my wife would have an operation in a Chinese hospital if it isn’t life threatening.

      • Wololoo

        Studying in Germany (no study fee, everything payed by german tax money), operation for 100k euro (using people social inscurance money) (I hope at least this was something unforseen and critical, and nothing she brought from China to here, just because she doesn’t need to pay anything).
        I hope at least, she works in Germany now and pays her taxes and social insurance here, to give back to society, what she received.

        • Germandude

          Change your name into: trollolololol.

          She didn’t study in Germany, paid EUR 10,000/year for her studies, so EUR 40,000/4 years, plus an additional EUR 6,000 for the first half year “integration course for foreign students”. Additionally, she spent approx. EUR 15,000/year for accomodation, food, insurances etc.
          Her insurance was not a German one while the operation was paid by a foreign insurance in Germany.

          Yes, it was an unforeseen and critical operation, but that doesn’t matter. Unlike the locusts that, I assume, your reply was pointing at, she will get the German nationality soon and will become a high tax payer in Germany.

          Think before you write.

          • Wololoo

            Than no offense. Since you wife is not that kind of people, don’t feel attacked.
            Doesn’t change the fact, we have a big problem in Germany with people abusing our wealthfare state without giving back anything.

          • Dr Sun

            I hear medical tourism is destroying the NHS in the UK.

          • Free govt health care is also a disgrace and not sustainable and is abused. Why not have free accommodation, food and everything else? The problem here is not that medicine costs. is that they have no system to allow accounts, use credit cards or have debt be kept.

          • Edward_Crowley

            Why not have free accommodation, food and everything else?

            Yes, why not? the top percent would have to make do with a little less champagne and oysters and perhaps sell a private jet or yacht or two, my heart bleeds, not.

          • If people could manage their affairs and know what is important in life then no problem. People cry foul over medical stuff but not food or shelter. People seem able to make sure they can budget to pay the rent and buy the groceries – yet when it comes to medical stuff they all of a sudden become basket cases that need to be nannied?

          • Guest

            You sound a bit like a sell out yuppie to the chinese to me,but nowt personal.

          • Anywhere in the world. People just need to act like adults. Australian’s are great whiners at why something is not done for them with an entitlement mentality. Yes one should get help first before anything else if it is urgent. My point was around how people think that something like the NHS is a good idea. It is not and it is wasteful and hurts the 90% of people that can act like adults and manage their affairs and budgets to pay for what they need. Again not including the real hard go stories here – just normal every day people that can buy beer and smokes and eat out at a restaurant but all of a sudden can’t afford the doctor……. :-S

          • Edward_Crowley

            Where did I mention I was australian?!

            I’ve met a lot of americans in China with an entitlement mentality often resorting to the classic line: “I’m American!!” as if that means they have superpowers over the natives.

          • Sigh… to whom was my original response responding to? That is the context. I am Australian. We seem to be talking about two different things. I was responding to Dr Sun.

          • Edward_Crowley

            Ah, sorry. I must have missed the response to Dr Sun.

          • Edward_Crowley

            And people should be allowed to drink and smoke as well if they want. People are just jealous that there are those who don’t work who get looked after.

          • Claude

            Well, this should get your goat.

            Swiss to vote for income for all.
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25415501

          • Dr Sun

            cash buys food, feeds your family. Credit cards in China, lol after the bank boss,the insurance boss, the govt boss, the hospital boss have all stolen as much as they can. How much do you think the doctors and Nurses will see.= 0

          • Nessquick Choco

            sure, mostly with Turkish and others ” friendly” nations …

          • Dr Sun

            This is a story I see every day and each time it breaks my heart. You have to remember there is no NHS in China, medical billing comes first, its the only way the Dr’s, nurses, etc get paid. All the Govt money and taxes has already been stolen by the Hospital bosses and local Health dept bosses ( which they use to send their families and children to live in the west,to buy houses, go to expensive colleges,To buy luxury cars, ie prop up the failing western economies) at the expense of the ordinary people in China., But I doubt there’s even a single BMW worker / salesman or university professor whose class is full of high paying Chinese sons and daughters, who are using their fathers stolen money to even give a shit or even a second thought about that.
            Healthcare is pretty much none existent in China, medical treatment you may get, but most important and what is missing is the “care”
            Will it change, some of us are trying .

          • Germandude

            The fish starts stinking from the top. Or how does the saying go in English.

          • Dr Sun

            no idea, but who was in the Titanic’s lifeboats ?

            not the 3rd class , not the second ..but ?????

          • Germandude

            no idea, but I know that Di Caprio missed it…

          • Nessquick Choco

            feet smells bad, because they grew from ass …

      • xiaode

        hahaha… i can imagine. I have seen some Chinese hospitals from inside, luckily I din´t need to go there for myself! Last highlight: a Chinese doctor smoking while checking a patient… i need to check if I still have that picture…

      • Guest

        here we go…

        • Germandude

          Have seen similar things in my wife’s hometown. Emergency service over the weekend and the only available doctor in the hospital was smoking with some buddies…

    • Edward_Crowley

      I offered them to deduct
      it from my pay, but they refused.

      Merciless!!!

    • Alphy

      What kind of visa do you use? if you are working you should have a Z-Visa, and you shouldn’t need to run that trip to Hong Kong. Through you for sure need to pay China tax then.

      • Edward_Crowley

        I doubt that will be true much longer. Many people got refused Z visas in HK, I know because I’m there now. Also next summer all FT’s have to go home to renew visas.

        • Unless it is your own company! Then you have a set of allocated Z visa’s based on industry and turn over. I guess this is the closest thing to the investment visa’s that other countries have to attract pistons to the economy’s engine.

          • Edward_Crowley

            That may well be true, thanks for the info. A chinese wife is another way of visas being easier, can’t really kick you out if you got a wife and kid there, makes it easier for sure.

      • Wodowsan

        It was a Z visa and a resident permit

        • Alphy

          If you have both, you really should not have to exit the country to renew the visa. I have had the Z-visa for over 6 years now, and I’ve just renewed it in the Shanghai visa office. The process is a bit annoying, but mostly its just submitting the paper work each year, and paying the fee.

          I have never heard that you have to renew the visa from your home country or from Hong Kong. I actually don’t even have to go to the office or the police station myself anymore like I used to. Now adays HR from my company just have the intern run to those places for me and finish the process. You may want to check on your visa status type, and perhaps see if your company HR could help you with your situation.

          • Edward_Crowley

            Wrong and codswallop. Come down and see for yourself. Things are changing, and the tides may wash you over in your own ignorance. Grow up out of yer box lad!!!!!

    • Daniel

      The funny thing is that my chinese girlfriend just moved to me in Sweden and my country, even though she never contributed with any taxes here, would still take better care of her than her own country ever would, plus she gets free school, free hospital tratments (she is pregnant) and all other benefits. Its ridicilous.

  • Irvin

    Welcome to china where we have capitalism at its best.

    • Cauffiel

      Welcome to chinasmack at its dumbest.

  • WangDN

    If this was the UK (or any EU country I can think of) the driver would be charged with criminal negligence and would be guilty, in the court of public opinion, of being disgustingly amoral. In China he is guilty of no crime and in fact was actually doing his job correctly, and even has some sympathy from a couple of the netizens.

    Anyone that thinks China is a socialist/communist country needs to go read a dictionary. China is more capitalist that most western counties.

    • Alexander

      The police and courts are too lazy, they are more concerned with being the “bodyguards” of the central government than justice.

      • lacompacida

        They are just doing their job as the Chinese system requires.

        • Alexander

          Great, here we go again with an ignorant statement. “Chinese” system, why are you throwing Chinese people under the bus with some corrupt people and corrupt political practices? There is no specified “Chinese” system. What part of PEOPLE’S Republic don’t you understand :) ???

    • Surfeit

      It would not be criminal negligence in the UK, for the simple reason that it would never happen. It’s literally unthinkable; Such a situation could never unfold.

      • lacompacida

        Since it would never happen, that means a normal person would not behave like that. Therefore, if it ever happened, it is criminal negligence.

        • Surfeit

          …and I postulate never buying a ticket means one day I will win the lottery!!

    • scanner

      china needs to allow IOUs and Debt even for poor peoples. cant pay ambulance now pay later. Req hospitals to allow debt

    • lacompacida

      Most countries have degenerated to practice save people first, talk m9ney later. But that is a 邪路 wicked way China will never follow.

      • Alexander

        Speak for yourself and allow each Chinese person to have their own voice and speak for themselves. Don’t group the whole of China into one of your comments.

        • Jahar

          It’s hard not to group a country as one thing, you know.

        • Nessquick Choco

          You must allow to people have own voice, than you may ask them for their voice. Is not we, foreigners, who are denying chinese voice to be heard … is them themself who keep shut up

    • Alphy

      I sometimes laugh when people compare government policy to China, like when talking about Obama care etc. They have no idea what it is like here. You can spend just one day in any Chinese mainland city and can find dozens of examples of how China has many areas where it is more capitalist than your home country. That’s when you realize it’s not good to have money weighting into everything, because when that happens human lives, integrity, and justice, are all up for sale.

    • Edward_Crowley

      Agreed.

    • Nessquick Choco

      Sure, he will be sentenced for causing the death…

  • YourSupremeCommander

    Chinese hospitals don’t take credit cards?

    • Zappa Frank

      Maybe, but apparently not ambulances

      • Surfeit

        Zing!!

    • Alexander

      Agree. Use credit card to withdraw cash from nearest ATM.

    • Kate

      I don’t think most people use credit cards, atleast not the ones in smaller areas. I could be wrong thou

  • ex-expat

    It’s annoying to have people rack up a ton of medical bills and not be able to pay for them, but this is much worse…

  • xiaode

    Because of stories like this I will leave this country if I would have children!

  • Peter Pottinger

    Babies die every day in all parts of the world due to low quality of life. Sad story but if they were to help everyone and anyone we all know the system would be taken advantage of.

    • lacompacida

      Yep. Babies die everyday, and that’s the way it stays. That’s stability.

  • Cauffiel

    Lawyer up, bitchez.

  • nqk123

    upfront fees, there are quite a few nations that allow hospitals to do this.

    • lacompacida

      Isn’t that great China have excellent company in making life miserable for the people ?

  • Stefan Xu

    Life’s tough.

    • lacompacida

      And nowhere any tougher than in China, and Chinese are darn proud of the ability they have making the nation so tough to survive.

      • Alexander

        Tough? Yeah right, man. Reality check, if you want tough, try Afghanistan. Being tough has nothing to do with not helping people in need. That’s just being a jerk.

  • Even if the family had the money upfront, a neighbor would’ve blocked the ambulance because she was upset her parking spot was taken. Even if they had managed to outmaneuver the neighbor, a stranger would’ve came out of nowhere and slammed the baby on the ground. Even if they had wrestled the baby from the stranger, the ICU would’ve malfunctioned and instantly cooked the child.
    The child would’ve been better off if he were never born. In fact, if he were a female, he would’ve been aborted before birth.

    • Surfeit

      Damn! This is heavy.

      • Germandude

        No, that was sarcasm in a very mean way.

        • Surfeit

          The correct answer was, ‘There’s that word again. Heavy. Why are things so heavy in the future?’

          • Germandude

            Ups. Yeah, didn’t recognize it. How stupid of me.

    • Nicola Collina

      yes… sadly true. (beside the ICU story, that baby was septic…)

  • lacompacida

    Nice to have cold blood.

  • stevelaudig

    One of the major black marks on China today is [after pollution certainly] is that before going to the emergency room you must go to the bank machine. It is rapaciously capitalistic in this, the most basic of reasons for having government.

  • Stefan Xu

    “At The End Of The Day, Money Talks”

    This rule is applied to almost the whole world.

    • YourSupremeCommander

      You forgot “bullshit walks”.

    • Kate

      yea but atleast in countries like America you can still get immediate emergency care even if you don’t have money

    • Guang Xiang

      yea but atleast in countries like Taiwan you can still get immediate emergency care even if you don’t have money

      • Germandude

        yea but atleast in most countries of the EU you get all medical care that is required even if you don’t have money, insurance or any kind of assets

        • Stefan Xu

          Actually you still need to pay a couple of hundreds RMB for the service and buying the medicine in Europe. For example if I have problems with my ears and let the doctor examine in I need to buy about 200 RMB. 400 if you break any bones. This is in Sweden.

          • Zappa Frank

            Consider that in Sweden 2-400rmb is nothing, besides usually in Europe if you are really poor and cannot afford even that is completely free.

          • Stefan Xu

            Well it isn’t nothing, you can buy 3-5 lunches with those money…

          • Zappa Frank

            Maybe at mc Donald, with the same money you don’t get anything more neither in Italy. Anyway those are the money you pay ( not if you are poor) in order to prevent an abuse of the social system for useless things, it’s not by far the real price of what you would pay without a welfare system. And you are never in danger to be left to die even without those money.

          • Germandude

            That’s cool. RMB 200 is already a quarter of the ride with the ambulance in this case. Stay positive! lol

            If your life is under threat, you don’t pay anything. THAT’S the difference. But why am I bothering?

  • Kate

    “Even if we could take care of you, we won’t, because to treat a patient would mean the doctors don’t make any money! At 3 thousand yuan a month, the doctors are all very negative! [The doctors] tell me in private: “Go wherever I want to go to see a doctor! With this little money, I don’t have the energy to serve you. Just taking some patients with minor illness is enough. However much money I get is however much treatment I’ll provide!”

    WTF? Seriously? I mean I understand doctors still need to make money since they have their own bills to pay but the “even if we could take care of you, we won’t” part is extra ridiculous. How can anyone think that little amount of money is worth losing a life over?

    • YourSupremeCommander

      Their logic: at the end of the day, the dead baby will get carried away and it will have nothing to do with you; on the other hand, you will eat the cost of the ambulance fee yourself. Ding Ding Ding, no brainer choice right there.

  • Teacher in China

    What a disgusting group of human beings those people are. They even had the balls to jack up the price to 800 when it should have only been 400. 400 rmb vs a baby’s life…. yes, because 400 rmb is soooooooooo important…….

  • markus peg

    Name and Shame the people involved! This will make them think twice before turning someone in need away, they will worry if they do so they will appear online hated by the public.

  • waihang

    Nothing new, in China money is of the highest priority and above everything.
    I guess that being so deeply ingrained in the Chinese psych is why so many officials lack the logic seeing the risk ending up being executed for fraud as soon as they see the chance making some moolah, despite so many getting caught.
    Life and money is simply two different universes.

  • Germandude

    And what do you want to tell me with that?

  • Jahar

    I’d like to know what was wrong with the baby. I’m curious as to what serious enough that they couldn’t treat it locally, but not serious enough that the baby had an hour or so to take an ambulance. The doctor said maybe getting there sooner could have saved the baby. not that it would have.

    As for, “Why does a hospital that should help the dying and heal the injured put money first?” This must be her first time living in China. It’s always money first.

  • Gordon Gogodancer

    China is truly an entertaining country. Despite the fact that it often involves absurd or tragic situations there is something happening everyday. France is so boring in comparison

  • FYIADragoon

    Hunan’s the province Mao is from. Just saying…

  • Hang Em Man

    About the only benefit of living in a large city in America is the city fire and ems services. Example.; Phoenix Fire Dept. If you are in the city core; a city of Phoenix ambulance and fire truck will be there in record timing. Usually within 3 to 4 minutes and free of charge unless you are abusing it.Truly amazing and thankful for our EMS and Fire personnel! Obviously if you are in the countryside, you are f*cked. Up to 15 to 20 minutes, and sometimes it is a private company with sometimes less than modern equipment and you must pay later on. The extra few minutes can mean life and death obviously.

  • Gerhana

    we have become a machine more than human now a days and it doesnt really help the system function that way. Where procedure and conduct of the institution is rigid and not following them would result in punishment due to lack of “professionalism”. I am certain many of us here have suffer because of this. Its a pity that people come second over rules,regulation, procedures etc…

    • ScottLoar

      Agreed, and a good insight well expressed.

      There is a statement by a character in one of the stories by the American writer William Faulkner to the effect that there is a line where the law ends and people begin.

      I have always taken that to heart.

      • Gerhana

        sir ScottLoar I was wondering where you have been. I miss reading your post. Welcome back.

  • ScottLoar

    Several years ago there was an instance in Evanston, Illinois, where the young lifeguard could not swim to save a drowning person who was just outside the area of the lifeguard’s responsibility. The rule was obeyed, the person drowned, the lifeguard was correct… but oh-so-wrong, and that will doubtlessly weigh heavily on him the rest of his natural life.

    Yes, confronted with scores and scores of wounded and maimed I accept the severity of triage (I’ve seen it on the battlefield) but I cannot accept two fire departments standing idle as the house between them burns because neither has jurisdiction, or that a child is denied saving for want of prepayment. There is a time and situation to which we reply as people and f… the consequences.

    Yeah, and we are all made better by that stubborn refusal of restriction because it confirms our basic humanity.

    • David

      Being from Chicago, unfortunately I remember that well (also former Lifeguard and cringed when I read it).

    • Boris_Da_Bengal_Tiger

      Yep. The German Soldiers said they were following orders. That wasn’t allowed as an excuse in their defence for what they did.

  • Edward_Crowley

    800 rmb, what a joke, a piss take!!!

  • Edward_Crowley

    barbaric and inhumane practices that should have no place in the 21st century, but china is in the 18th century in regard to this. The rest of the world has moved on from this.

  • Nick in Beijing

    Reminds me of a friend of an ex-girlfriend.

    She called an ambulance, said it was an emergency, then when the ambulance arrived she gave them her home address and asked them to drive her home.

    Her reason: She thought the taxi drivers would rape her. A 30 RMB taxi ride turned into a 200 RMB ambulance ride that may have even resulted in someone who genuinely needed emergency care being denied it.

    And the most ridiculous part of all is that the ambulance drivers agreed to drive her home instead of having her charged with a crime.

  • Middle_Kingdum

    What the does that have to with this discussion?

  • bprichard

    You do realize that messing up in the performance of duties is quite different from refusing to perform your duties, right? Of course you do. Why am I talking to a troll?

  • Dr Sun

    That is going to be difficult to win unless their was gross professional negligence and non-compliance with state policies and procedures,ie (SOP)

  • linette lee

    China really needs to reform their health care system. It should be universal health care so all rich and poor have equal access to medical care.

  • When my appendix exploded and they kept trying to say it was gas, I was interrupted half way through my CT scan at Beijing United Hospital (radioactive drip already in) so a woman from accounts with a cordless phone could speak to me about my insurance….which was one of the corporate ones registered for cashless use at the hospital.

    I gave them hell and lectured them (in between grimaced stomach pains) on the concept of benefit of the doubt and that the real cost to them of a CT scan is not their inflated 10K fee – so get on with it, sort me out and the rest can wait.

    In the end the whole thing cost about 50K USD and that included having me lie naked on a cold steal theatre slab while an overly eager registrar got to work shaving me. At least the lead surgeon apologised to me the next day for the students compete lack of patient respect and bed side manner. Though no one apologised for the accounting depts complete lack of grace and dignity.

  • Edward_Crowley

    Not what I have heard in Hong Kong this time, and met many foreigners who even got new blank passports, including one american man for him and his son, he said he had a business in Chengdu. Anyway, I’m glad I don’t have to live near that abysmal city any longer! And I would suggest you get out of the pollution too….

    • I had my Z put into a new passport issued at the embassy in China. Simple. Indeed for anyone gainfully employed on correct visa’s it is a piece of piss. I find these stories of “Visa runs” most strange and wonder the hell people are getting up to or in to…?

      • Edward_Crowley

        Why strange? Before it was possible to do a visa run to HK, now it is not….the real pisser is you can never get a clear answer from the chinese side. People have gone with the official documents that clearly state they can get their Z in HK….but are still being told to go home, Americans and Brits especially. Met a Canadian who was refused despite having the proper docs on the basis that he was too old, over 60. There is a clampdown in effect…no doubt. It still won’t stop me smoking however, or calling bullshit on their health check to get a Z visa.

        • Same thing went on during the Olympics. It is probably a push to clear out all the hippies and western trash that started to accumulate during the early millennia (screwing chicks, selling drugs and not paying tax apparently) – some were cleared out due to gfc. Maybe the weeds came back? Again if gainfully employed doing something that bestows that little alien permit book on you then no issue and never will be. All countries do it for various reasons. Misguided ‘protection’ over ‘our jobs’ to ensuring that only the best can enter. I highly doubt that country of citizenship has anything to do with it. The test is “Is this a position that we can’t fill with local staff” and then the proof of that by the company sponsoring the Z visa.

          But again – in 10 years in China – I never had to go o HK or any other place to get a visa. And I went from an L at Uni to an F for a month or two and then to a Z which I had for 80% of the time and only involved a photocopy of my passport for the secretary to take to the PSB once a year.

          Still have no idea what this mythical “Visa run” is…. sounding more like a unicorn…?

          • Edward_Crowley

            Still have no idea what this mythical “Visa run” is…. sounding more like a unicorn…?

            GIYF…no time for semantics at the moment, sorry.

          • Edward_Crowley
        • Alphy

          It is strange, because you don’t need to do it. Trust me I just renewed my visa without doing any run to HK. I have never done it in the years I worked here.

          • Edward_Crowley

            Not for everyone, and I am not meaning to argue. Even before the stricter visa rules, once issued my papers after arriving back from the UK on a L visa, I had to go to Hong Kong. Now even that is impossible, for a lot of passport holders. good luck.

      • Rick in China

        *Exactly*. My company brings in foreigners on annual rotation from various countries all the time, never have any real problems because it’s all legit – right now we have annual rotations in from India, Oz, US, and I think we’re bringin’ in someone from Brazil, never heard of a single issue with the new system.

    • Rick in China

      My wife and I just had a baby – so, we don’t plan on staying in Chengdu much longer. We’ll be moving somewhere with fresh air, beaches, and warmth, likely OZ. That being said – visas are easier for _some_ and much more difficult for _others_, and the new visa types do include longer durations renewable in-country. For everyone who had gotten a Z and it will expire sometime between now and next summer, they probably do indeed need to go home and renew there – police record and all – but for people in my position I absolutely don’t have to go back to Canada again (I went back in September already, for visa change). I was on an L for a couple months during a job change (marriage visa) so had to go back to Canada to switch to new work visa system.

      It’s easier for some, way harder or even impossible for others, and a hassle for everyone who has to find their place in the new system..that’s all.

      • Edward_Crowley

        Congrats on the impending move to down under, a nice place, I have a few pommie mates who have settled out there. Your a braver man than me, huntsman spiders shit me up no end, saw two in Changsha and 2 in guangdong, not sure I could live with them INSIDE the house:) But good luck with it. This is the problem, the incostinency that you have just pointed out, each province seems to have their own rules, and it differs by nationality. Yes, the police record check is also a spanner in the works…why can’t the psb simply run a background check or email the police and request a clearance? When I worked in Oman, they did a background check….very weird.

        • Rick in China

          Well, China doesn’t *want* most foreigners here. China doesn’t want foreigners here unless they’re contributing to the GDP – meaning companies will take care of all their documentation, and the more difficult it is to get a visa the less tourist/teacher/hangin around kind of laowai in the country…which, they *don’t* want, for whatever reason. I think it’s bullshit, but they have made it obvious that they want to make it easy for companies with people in senior positions to be able to get their people here and make it easier to do the visa ish once they’re here (that’s why you can get 2year visas now, if you fit in a bracket) and they make it really, really tough for people who are here without that sort of corporate support. Some of my good friends have to leave, Thailand seems to be the next location of choice, perhaps a better location all around anyways but the visa ish sort of forced the hand.

          Personally, I was on bail here for 1 year, unable to leave or stay really, messed up situation – and have that whole court record _here_, along with overstay visa at the PSB’s request because they couldn’t keep issuing L visa extensions and couldn’t renew work visa during that period, but they know the situation and deal with it now that it’s over and I’m back in the nicely taxable bracket game…not to mention own property / wife / baby ish and they can’t really just say “fuck off” without potential problems :P The PSB/police who deal with my paperwork are pretty cool tho, maybe it’s way different in places like Beijing or Shanghai, when I go in to get my police registration papers the same guy comes in every time “Hey Rui Ke! wife have the baby yet? *kicks out cigarettes*” ish..in Chinese of course.. so I guess I’m lucky to be in a pretty chill province :D

          • Edward_Crowley

            If the same logic was applied, you could bet the spokeswoman would say X country hurt all the chinese peoples feelings, not getting at you, but it is what it is. I’d also be careful, Sichuan people appear nice on the surface, but will think nothing of screwing you when your back is turned, yes this has just happened to me recently. Also guangdongers are growing tired of them coming down and overcharging for mediocre spicy food. Not against your wife, just saying, a lot of dregs from that province.

          • Alphy

            Yeah, I was surprised about the complicated mess of getting a multi-year Z-visa or getting their green-card. There is basically no incentive at all in getting a multi year unless you really hate to go through the paper work each year, it’s way more expensive and there are a lot of requirement for the company. The green card its even crazier, unless you are an exec from a multi-billion dollar company wanting to live here, I would not recommend looking into the process.

      • Wodowsan

        I no longer work for them and never will again. I left their university. They changed the contract meaning only after I had worked for them.
        For example. I was told I would get paid for winter and summer vacations. but when summer came none of the foreign teachers got paid (which they had in past years. It was decided by someone that non-Chinese teachers would not get paid for the summer. When we pointed out that foreign teachers had been always paid before, and it says in our contract paid wintersummer holiday they said that ‘” means “or” and the teachers should not have been paid the past years and we were lucky that they were not demanding the money back for the summers we were paid. Of course they only clarified this with us after we had signed our contracts for the next school year and said nothing of us not going to receive our pay that summer vacation.
        I taught university in Taipei for eight years, I never was treated different than the Chinese professors. I was never cheated by any schools I had worked for.

  • Edward_Crowley

    I have been in China for more than 10 years

    So have I, and I also speak chinese. I am on the ground now in Hong Kong and can tell you that a lot of people will be going home next year, or end of next school year for ft’s…..so summer 2014 then.

    http://lawandborder.com has a lot of information on the visa stuff.

    Happy new year btw and year of the horse to you and yours!!!

  • WangDN

    Do I!!!? Firstly I live in China, so I pay neither UK tax nor NI. Secondly, I have never, at any point whilst using this website, expressed any opinion regarding tax or national insurance (social security), so what has led you to believe that “people like me” are complaining it!??

    For the record I support progressive and fair taxation and redistribution. China’s problem with public funds is the redistribution side. They have loads of money (loads money!!), the problem is how they spend it. It pays to employ their countless thousands of government officials, layers of unnecessary bureaucracy, huge military and to line politicians pockets. When they instead could be funding affordable quality healthcare, education and social housing.

    • Edward_Crowley

      They won’t because space is more important….it is madness, and a good post!

  • Kate

    fine, United States of America. better?

  • Kate

    I don’t see it that way. I mean sure the healthcare system isn’t anywhere near perfect but would you rather your child dies because you lack the money? or would you rather your child lives and then deal with the bills? of course no one wants to be in debt and deal with the stress of paying their ridiculously huge medical bill but it’s still better than losing a life over, especially when that life is your only child (i’m assuming they only have one since China has the one child policy)

    • Rick in China

      I agree with you when comparing these two options specifically…but, America was a poor example. It’s the only modern country without a public option or single payer system – it’s where wealthy get care and poor get fucked. It may be better with the affordable care act in place, time will tell.

      • Kate

        I agree w that. The US has one of the less favorable healthcare system out of the developed nations. I just mean that as (for lack of a better word) shitty as out healthcare is, it’s still better than what they have in China. I’m sure we can all agree that it’s better to worry about money after th emergency has been taken care of rather than waiting to receive medical attention after you’re able to pay.

  • Edward_Crowley

    I’ve been to chengdu also, and dated PLENTY of Sichuan girls, but no it is saturday night and a new year so no time for oneupmanship, sorry that was petty of me….I’m just going through some hard times right now and it was wrong of me to take that out on you, albeit virtually, so please forgive me for being a prick. It’s easy to forget there is a fellow human being behind an internet user name sometimes. Shenzhen does attract the worst people from all provinces, and foreigners, I did 9 months there my first year in China, the college I worked at offered to double my salary if I came back, I refused and went back to Britain….could not stand it, esp the sauna like summers. Good luck with the kid btw.

  • Edward_Crowley

    Marijuana could also be taxed? Here I think Colorado is light years ahead of canada…..

  • Alphy

    Yep, I’ve never had to unless the visa type switched. And even then they usually issue you a temp 3 day visa so that you can get it all settle when you get to the Visa office.

    When I switched from F to Z, I got a temp F, in US, and when I flew into Shanghai, I had to report to the visa office, pay the fee and get my Z visa.

  • Wodowsan

    I was legally employed with them. It was not a training school, but a government owned university and hospital. I was teaching doctors and nursing students. I was even doing editing work for their medical journal. I was not asking them to pay for her operation. I was willing to pay for it.
    But they were making it difficult for me to do so; by not being willing to let me set up a payment plan out of my salary, by not allowing me to work any additional jobs to make the extra money (forbidden in my contract), and by giving me the extra expense of the visa runs.
    I do not know if those of you living in 1st tier cities do not have to go through this, but I was in Chongqing, a 2nd tier city. These are the “rules” the foreign affairs office was insisting on – a government run hospital and medical university.
    They actually made me go twice to HK, because the first time they told me all my paperwork was set, but when arrived at the consult in Hong Kong they told me I needed another health check. I had to go back to Chongqing do the health check at government approved hospital and go back to Hong Kong a second time. The second run I had to pay everything myself. They counted my first plane ticket to Hong Kong as my contracted round trip fee back to the States. It seems if they are paying for the trip to Hong Kong it is seen as an international flight. Hong Kong is no longer part of China. Of course they did not tell me this until afterwards. If they had, I would have paid the first trip to Hong Kong myself keeping my airline tickets to return to the states..

    • Rick in China

      Sounds like you got f’d. I’m in Chengdu, never had to deal with these issues. When I had to go back to Canada to change marriage to work visa, company paid for it – had to, otherwise I’d be gone, me thinks you need to learn to leverage your negotiation skills a little more wisely :D

      • Edward_Crowley

        me thinks you need to learn to leverage your negotiation skills a little more wisely

        Elaborate? This sounds like bribery and corruption to me, and I certainly hope not, as you do not come across that way man,

        • Rick in China

          While I’m not beyond bribery or corruption in a holistic sense, I was not at all implying that – I was simply implying that, if you have a skill that the company/corporation/government desires, then you use that desire to get what you need without bending over and getting fucked… in my example, to reword, “if they didn’t pay for the cost of working for them I’d have told them to fuck themselves because there are many other companies who happily will”. That’s not related to bribery or corruption, but rather utilizing what you have and negotiating in a way that nets you a benefit rather than a loss, and in the sense of a qualified foreigner living/working in China, it’s really NOT hard to figure out where those boundaries lie and utilize them to your advantage when discussing things like salary or other benefits/cost recuperation.

          • Edward_Crowley

            Sorry, was drunk and going through some hard times. A bout of homelessness and despair….thailand is not an option for me, although some braver than me, may consider it.

    • Edward_Crowley

      You are telling the truth, and ignore the self serving liars….!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Edward_Crowley

    Thanks and happy new year. To post up my feelings of Shenzhen after nine months and many return visits, I would say it is not that bad, depending on where you are living. Some parts are leafy and nice and the metro is really straightforward as Line 1 now goes right from the airport to the hk border and all for 4 yuan….in that way 1 thumbs up, if you are living near a metro stop, you got a good place. I suppose shorter winters than the rest of China are another bonus. But yes the crime and the dregs are downers.

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