Wednesday, October 28

A Man in Full: To Hell and Back in the Chinese Healthcare System

It was good speaking to you yesterday Kannu. I think you did just fine. You were able to answer most of the questions. It's a tough interview. It's a tough bank. That's why it's at the top son. You're already in the top ranks by being in Oxford. But they want even more selectivity even from Oxford and rest of the top universities. And this brutal meritocracy keeps on going on. It doesn't stop son. This isn't to discourage you. This is a constant challenge for you to constantly improve yourself. Constantly learn and improve. While having a good sense of humour. And I was so proud of you yesterday. Your tone was confident and calm. Very good son. 

That's the stuff of hero's son. Like this man. Can you imagine having to saw off your own leg? Holy crap. I've been there to a much smaller extent. When I used to really suffer from the HS boils. Once I got a giant one in my left armpit when I was in Frankfurt and I had to give a hugely important presentation to the European Central Bank. Usually my way of handling large painful boils is to gobble a fistful of painkillers till the boil burst. But that made me dozy and would slur and basically look and behave like a drunk. 

So I decided to sort out the boil. I used to carry a Swiss knife back then in 1998. So ran it under loads of very hot water in the hotel bathroom. And then knotted my hanky for a teeth guard. Filled the bath with the hottest water I could stand and then popped in, and cut out the boil. Not fun. Specially since it was in the right armpit. And was using a mirror which kept fogging up. With my wet left hand. Clutching a tiny Swiss knife.  But the sodding bleeding wouldn't stop. It kept on weeping blood and pus. As you know, joints are a pain to bandage. So I wrapped up my armpit and over the shoulder with a plastic bag. Tied it into place with a piece of rope. And then went to work looking like a teapot with my right arm akimbo. Mamma was quite accustomed to looking at my clothes all blood stained. Not a fun time. 

My PwC partner paul betts asked me what the hell was I doing? So I told him. He just shook his head and said, you're a nutter! But pain is pain. Just one more thing to overcome and conquer :)

Anyway. Have fun son. Busy days now for you with your assignments tutorials and interviews and events. It will all be worth it. 

Can't wait to see you this weekend son. I will be making your dishes with a smile :) 



A Man in Full: To Hell and Back in the Chinese Healthcare System - SPIEGEL ONLINE
(via Instapaper)

When a farmer and migrant worker got thrombosis in his legs, China failed him. In the end, he had to saw off his own rotting leg in order to survive. Zheng Yanliang’s story is an allegory of the struggle to   the Chinese healthcare system.

His shroud had already been purchased when, on April 14, 2012, Zheng Yanliang, 48, a Chinese man from Hebei Province, summoned up the last of his strength to lean out of his bed and reach for his toolbox. He took out a hacksaw. Then he wrapped the handle of a backscratcher in a piece of material, which he stuck in his mouth so that he could bite on it. He did not hesitate. He had thought about his options and concluded that he had only one choice, this unthinkable, monstrous deed. He placed the saw against his right leg, a hand’s breadth below his hip, and began to saw.

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