The Iranian Consultative Assembly, the equivalent of a parliament, legalized living non-related donations in 1988 and set up a new government-run transplant matching system. Within this novel framework, living donors could choose to have their organs typed and registered in advance. If they are needed, a third-party independent organization, the Dialysis and Transplant Patients Association (DTPA), would set up contact between the donors and recipients. The donors would be compensated by a payment from the government, free health insurance, and sometimes additional payment from the recipient. The payment from the government is said to be in the range of $2,000-$4,000.
Imagine inserting your broken arm into a metallic, sleeve-like device, then sparks fly, machines clang and voila! You have gotten yourself a nice, fixed arm in a shiny new cast. It is more and more common to see scenes like this on display in recent sci-fi productions. These flashy Hollywood gadgets may seem far-fetched, but surgeons have been conducting robotic-assisted procedures for over thirty years.
Gather a group of American and Chinese first year medical students in one lecture hall, and you will notice some obvious differences right away. The Americans will likely be older with more work experience under their belt already. There will be more women on the Chinese side, and most have been full-time students all their lives. Dig beyond appearances and ask them what their daily curriculum consists of, and you will find even more interesting differences.
Yes, unfortunately, I have become one of the 60,000 and rising daily cases in the nation. Yet, I am one of the lucky ones.
This is the conclusion of the two part series of Yichi Zhang’s experience as a patient in China’s emergency medicine system.
In part one of this two-part series, Yichi Zhang recounts his experience as a patient in China’s emergency medicine system.