WaPo Finds Lucrative Market in Giving Chinese Private Health Care

Who says the Washington Post never reports the downsides of socialized medicine?

In a story below the fold on the June 23 Business section front page, staffers Kendra Marr and Ariana Eunjung Cha took a look at how a Bethesda, Md., company is setting out to make money by capitalizing on dissatisfaction with China's socialized medical system.

Marr and Cha look at how Bethesda-based Chindex International "is breaking into the heavily regulated Chinese health-care system by targeting the elite, who are willing to pay premium prices for premium care."

The Post staffers did try to put a bit of lipstick on the Communist medicine pig, but had to admit that the, um, efficiency of socialized medicine doesn't really provide that personal touch. You know, like private screening rooms:

By many measures, China offers strong medical care for its citizens. Its hospitals are inexpensive, well-staffed and well-stocked with pharmaceuticals.

But they treat patients with an assembly-line mentality. Patients often receive treatment in massive rooms packed with rows of wheelchairs. Even procedures like sonograms are conducted with little privacy, with other patients in the same room looking on.

Sheesh. You'd think the Chinese Communists could at least buy curtains or room dividers.

But that's where Chindex comes in. The rich and elite in China, who are more likely than not politically connected to the Communist government, can pony up the renminbi to get the quality of care a single-payer socialized system cannot furnish.

While the Post wasn't angling to show the deficiencies of socialized medicine, readers did get a hint that socialized medicine doesn't elevate everyone's standard of care, it only provides every with the same "free" low standard of care.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters