Chinese Tea Is Funny Wee
Greedy Chinese hospitals have been made to look rather foolish this week by not being able to spot the difference between tea and wee.
A group of Chinese reporters came up with the idea of passing off tea as urine samples; submitting the drink for tests to see how greedy local hospitals were.
Six out of the ten hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of the rich coastal province of Zhejiang, concluded that the patients had infected urinal tracts. Five of the hospitals subsequently prescribed drugs costing up to 400 yuan ($50, €40, £27, 3,587 Kenyan shillings); roughly 4% of the average annual salary for an urban dweller in Zhejiang.
The news first appeared on the online edition of the semi-official China News Service (www.chinanews.com) on Wednesday. They claimed that, of the hospitals, four were state-owned. The report has subsequently been removed from the site.
“It makes one shiver all over even though it’s not cold,” the China News Service said after its reporters and colleagues from Zhejiang Television tested the hospitals.
Health Minister Gao Qiang has recently accused hospitals of charging excessive fees and prescribing unnecessary and expensive medication.
Market reforms in the past two decades have cut state subsidies to many hospitals and left the health care system in need of life support. State media have reported patients committing suicide because they cannot afford exorbitant medical costs.
However, when all is said and done, maybe the hospitals are perfectly reasonable to start prescribing medication if you’ve just wandered in off the street claiming to have pissed out a cup of finest green tea. Lapsang Souchong anyone?