Friday, May 27, 2016

Assorted Links: School Commute Peril, No Need for Refrigerators, and Deceptive Medical Treatment

1. Photos of how some children in Sichuan province must commute to school remind me of nightmares I have had:
Authorities in south-west China have vowed to come to the aid of an isolated mountain village after photographs emerged showing the petrifying journey its children were forced to make to get to school.

To attend class, backpack-carrying pupils from Atuler village in Sichuan province must take on an 800m rock face, scrambling down rickety ladders and clawing their way over bare rocks as they go.

2. Fortunately, most in China don't have as difficult of a commute. In fact, an especially short commute is one of the reasons why some people like those in a small Shandong town don't use refrigerators:
Aunt worked as a nurse in the local hospital, and as traditionally is the case with state-owned institutions in China, there was an apartment complex specially built for the hospital workers right across the street, which saved her from having to make much of a commute. On most days—so long as she had not worked the night shift—she would go to work in the morning and come back a little before noon, when she would have enough time to prepare lunch. This schedule was more or less the norm in Jiaxiang. Adults had long breaks off work in the middle of the day. And high-school students, who might be in school till 8 or 9 p.m., were given enough time at midday to go home for lunch. The daily schedule of working adults and students thus accommodated schedules that allowed lunch to be cooked and eaten at home, and that, in turn, meant that most food eaten at home would be finished off the same day it was prepared.

3. Sometimes, large pieces of equipment are bought and used for reasons relating to deception:
A salesman at Dongnan Medical soon explained why many of the devices were built to resemble MRI machines. "Private hospitals need to let customers know these are valuable pieces of equipment," he said. "The big devices entice customers in for treatment" . . . .

The machine resembled a large, open-style MRI machine, and its sleek white exterior held long English words—"Electrochemical Apparatus," "Infrared Light." On the patient table, a framed certificate stated the machine was made by the USA Wolman Prostate Institute, which later research revealed is a dummy company . . .

"The red light cures prostatitis," the salesman said, beaming proudly and handing me a brochure for the Wolman Prostate Gland Treatment System. The brochure featured a photo of the USA Wolman Prostate Institute's research center, which, thanks to a clearly labeled sign on the building, I quickly discovered was actually a photo of Invesco Field, where the Denver Broncos play football.
In multiple ways, the ending to this disturbing story about medical malfeasance in China is not a happy one.

4. As usual for these "assorted links" posts, I had a forth link to share. But another perspective just came to mind, and I want to consider it more. I have to run now, so I will share the piece later.

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