The New York Times has produced a propaganda video entitled, “How Capitalism Ruined China’s Health Care System.” It is intended to show how capitalistic changes in recent decades have nearly destroyed what the Times implies was the formerly great socialist health care system originally started by Mao Zedong.
The video is an incredibly deceptive production and untrue according to the writer who lives there and actually had her appendix expertly removed at one of the private hospitals in Shanghai. The Times video is clearly intended to use the trust people have in the news organization to indoctrinate a large segment of the American public that is currently leaning toward a socialist medical system.
An American expat living in Shanghai, Sarah Lilly, has written a critique of the Times video for The Foundation for Economic Education. She writes that there are many false statements and nearly all of its images are misleading.
As you watch the video here are points that Ms. Lilly states are worth remembering. The man seen in the beginning making homemade drugs for his mother who has cancer says there are three kinds of drugs in China: those from the West, from India and those you make yourself. He fails to mention a fourth option (or the Times edited it out), China also manufacturers its own drugs but the man doesn’t even mention them because they are so poor.
Lilly writes, “Chinese doctors actually advise against taking Chinese prescriptions due to the lack of transparency on their ingredients, instead suggesting patients rely almost exclusively on Western medicine.”
Times narrator: “…China adopted a unique brand of capitalism that transformed the country from a poor farming nation to an economic superpower. Life expectancy soared. But the introduction of capitalism and the retreat of the state meant that health care was no longer free. Hospitals became profit driven, with limited accountability and were widely accused of predatory behavior. The culture of mistrust and inequality now plague the system.”
Capitalism is given proper credit for the Chinese soaring life expectancy. But now it maintains that capitalism will reduce this expectancy by destroying its health care system? That not only makes no sense, it is untrue.
The video then shows a long line at the Shanghai Cancer Center. The clear implication is this is a private, for-profit hospital. This is not the case. It’s a public center that must ration care.
Lilly adds, “The long lines, scalpers, bribes, and physical fights with hospital staff-all of these exclusively happen in the public, communist, government-run hospitals. These things do not happen at China’s private hospitals.”
She says, “I accidentally walked into the public hospital directly across from the private hospital. The emergency room was filled with at least 100 Chinese patients. China’s private hospitals are the opposite of the chaos depicted in the Times’ video.
“Upon seeing my white European face, hospital staff directed me to the private hospital across the street, Shanghai United. I was welcomed by friendly staff who were fluent in English. The ER doctor was American. I had an ultrasound and CT scan performed within the first two hours. Eight hours after that, my appendix was removed…”
It’s not any “capitalist” system destroying the medical system in China, it’s a bureaucrat managed communist system that drastically underpays doctors and nurses and hence, doesn’t have anywhere near enough of them.
The New York Times has chosen to compromise its journalistic integrity by pushing an indefensible ideological position. Not a surprise really.