Xu Nuo's blog posts

Dispatches

July 18, 2016

Xu Nuo, B!RTH’s playwright from China, recounts a recent interview with Dr.Ren & Mrs.Ren, two doctors working in reproductive health in China.

People: Xu Nuo, Dr. Aiguo Ren, MD, PhD (Director and Professor, Institute of Reproductive & Child Health, Peking University), Mrs Ren (Ultrasound Doctor, The Beijing Mary’s Hospital).

Q: I read some news in China that a rural woman had several prenatal checkups in a rural hospital and the results were all good. But she gave birth to a baby without feet. The tragedy happened because the medical facilities were outdated in the hospital and the results were easy to get wrong. So do you think it’s due to the rural hospital?

A: To tell the truth, it is the mistake of the hospital. Ultrasound can find such a serious physiological defects. But It’s very hard to say in today’s China. Because doctors don’t have to tell this in rule, more and more doctors choose to diminish responsibility because of the more and more serious medical tangles.

Q: Because of poverty and low medical level, are physiological defects more common in children born in rural areas?

A: Yes, there is a saying: poverty is brought about by sickness and illness-related poverty.

Q: Based on my interviews, I’ve found that the relationship between doctors and patients is getting worse and worse. What do you think of this?

A: I think it’s because in the last 20 years, Chinese people’s values have changed a lot. They do not respect doctors’ work, they don’t believe what doctors say is good for them. The media are especially guilty.

Q: Has our government taken any measures to solve the medical problems in rural areas?

A: Yes, Government have done a lot. They’ve built a new rural cooperative medical information management system (NCMS). It plays a vital role in improving farmers’ health security and lightening the burden on the farmers. And Government reduced the medical fee to encourage rural women to give birth in hospital instead of at home. It can reduce maternal mortality.

Q: In your opinion, why did the government implement the new Two Child Policy?

A: I think it’s because of the ageing population.

Q: So why the government can’t just let people have the free birth?

A: Because China still has a very big system: the One Child Policy System. That officers still need to work.

Q: What do you think is the biggest medical problem in today’s China?

A: It’s a huge problem…I think it is the shortage of medical resource.