Hospitals and Schools

International schools and International Hospitals catering to Westerners have made life a lot easier for Westerners in China.

Domestically, both are in crisis.

The Chinese school system is archaic, relies heavily on  rote memorization, and criticism of kids and parents are their only two tools to improve performance seemingly.  Chinese brain drain is heavily influenced by this weakness.  Upper middle class parents leave to get their kids away from this.

Hospitals are overburdened.  You can see the harried look on the workers faces. There are just not enough resources to meet the need.

Needs and consumable cash for these are growing dramatically.

Chinese people are distressed about these problems, and something needs to give. Surely, Western help is needed  all around the periphery and more and more closer to the core.

Anything to add?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Market Entry

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  1. Mark January 22, 2013

    I’ve lived in China for the last 15 years. My observations are different than yours.

    “International schools and International Hospitals catering to Westerners have made life a lot easier for Westerners in China.” From a language standpoint, I guess that is true if you can get away from the fact that western clinics are happy to charge you 1800RMB for an office visit. In my experience, the care is only marginally better.

    “The Chinese school system is archaic…” I disagree. My Chinese daughter went to Chinese schools through middle school and then promptly entered an American HS in the U.S. and made straight A’s barely knowing any English. That isn’t to say Chinese schools are better just that American schools are so bad.

    “Chinese brain drain is heavily influenced by this weakness. Upper middle class parents leave to get their kids away from this.” Again, I disagree. First of all, I think this is much more the exception than the rule. Sometimes, parents send their children to western countries for college education but this is almost always because of the associated status (in China) of doing so. I can vouch that Chinese universities are very good having completed my MBA at Tsinghua.

    “Chinese people are distressed about these problems.” I disagree. More often than not, they don’t think they have problems. And if they do, they certainly don’t worry about it. You know that this is part of the Chinese culture.

  2. Jim January 23, 2013

    Great comment, Yes, American schools are not a model for excellence. Their failures are in other areas. Who have you met that think Chinese schools are good and not just filled with pressure and criticism? I think you may have found the exceptional school or like that model. My Chinese friends in different geographies have different and unpleasent experiences. American children in Chinese schools are often treated with kids’ gloves I know though I did not send my kids there.

    I did go to the ZhongGuanCun Number 4 elementary school in Beijing with my oldest in 2009 to see if we should have her go there for 1st grade.

    We went there to learn about the school but were immediately separated from our child and interrogated by the administrator that had us. We tried to ask questions, and she cut us off and listed us as bad candidates as we dared to ask questions. My daughter was asked to write Chinese characters and could do very little though her spoken Chinese was fluent. They criticized us for not having guaranteed our child knew hundreds of characters before 1st grade starts. They did not want us, and we surely did not want them.

    I could give many more stories from my Chinese friends’ experiences.

    I like the doctors and nurses at Chinese hospitals. They treat me well. They are not the problem. The system is a mess. People have been culturally taught that the doctor’s advice is worthless but the medicine is valuable. Clearly, the doctors need to get paid more for their expertise, and the people need to accept that. Private hospitals need to be encouraged and overseen.

    I admit that many Chinese people are resigned to these things, and the top students’ parents think the school system is great as working for them in many cases.

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