Sunday, 5 December 2010

Interesting drawing depicting Chinese medical treatment - what do you think?

I came across this drawing in the latest edition of The Times 'Eureka' magazine. The article was about the move to make traditional Chinese medicine more regulated by implementing Western standards of drug manufacturing; for example mass-producing capsules containing traditional medicines in sterile industrial units.

However, it was this picture that most caught my eye.

It's a drawing of the waiting room at the Hua Cao Health Centre in the Minhang district of Shanghai.

Each seat has an intravenous drip available, attached to a bag of medication.

The Times writer observed that some of those in the waiting room did not seem to be suffering from much more than a cold but were hooked up to the drips.

I thought this quite an interesting concept and am not sure what to think of it. If I have a headache or something I tend to forgo aspirin for just riding it out, preferring not to take medicine unless I really have to.

But maybe this approach prevents wasting a GPs time so that they can see patients with more pressing concerns?

Or does it risk wasting medicine on those who don't necessarily need it and increasing people's resistance to antibiotics and other drugs through overuse?

Obviously not all health centres in China are like this but I did think this particular approach was interesting.

I'd love to know what other people think.

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