Monday, July 16, 2007

Zheng Xiaoyu

This name has been on the top 5 list on Yahoo China for quite a few days now, although he doesn't exist anymore.

Zheng Xiaoyu was the ex-head of China's State Food and Drug Administration (like FDA in U.S.). He was executed last Tuesday,  10th of July, 2007. Details can be read at Wikipedia:

Zheng was basically found guilty of taking bribes so that many drugs that shouldn't have been approved could get approved. It is said that his bribery money totaled 6.49 million RMB (approximately 850,000 USD). China began to notice the corruption within Zheng's department when a batch of contaminated antibiotic IV injection killed at least 10 people and injured 80 people last year. This particular antibiotics is called "Xinfu" in China, and after many searches, I finally found out that it was clindamycin.

Do you really think the corrupt health system in China will be fixed by killing the head of FDA? I think the answer is highly debatable. Corruption is everywhere in the health system, both desk people and front-line workers. I have talked to quite a few ex-doctors in China, the general mentality is "the pay is so low that it's crazy not to take bribes". Well well.

But fear not, those of you who are traveling to China in the near future, there are fancy, upmarket clinics that cater specifically for the foreigners. I believe you can see western doctors who will not give you an unknown IV drip for just a minor cold. But make sure you bought (or your company bought for you) the right insurance package, otherwise the fee can eat significantly into your handsome expat salary. Prepare to pay 100USD per consultation.

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