A Red Line on Lining Up


Responding to the growing problem of long lines for healthcare at Chinese hospitals, China’s Ministry of Health declared this week that hospitals must ensure that waits are no longer than 10 minutes. Media and web users immediately criticized the announcement as a non-solution to a huge problem. The root issue, they said, was overwhelming demand in the face of a shortage of doctors, something that orders from on high simply cannot solve. Other reports across the country revealed that the instructions from the Ministry of Health had resulted in “10-minute rules” at many hospitals that impacted the quality of service — for example, an order that doctors cannot spend more than 10 minutes talking with a patient about their condition. In this cartoon, posted by artist Cao Yi (曹一) to his blog at QQ.com and originally published in Changjiang Daily (长江日报), Chinese line up for service at a hospital as one frustrated patient says: “Wait, they just made us line up somewhere else!”

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