Be wary of your words during the next Chinese New Year family gathering, or you could find yourself with more than just a few red packets. A report put forward by the Psychosis and Social Observation and the Hengping Institute was released on Sunday, highlighting the abusive use of our healthcare system.
According to the report, which is based on a three-year study of over 100 cases of forced psychiatric treatment, as well as news articles and 30 laws and regulations, the system in use today allows blood relatives or spouses to send people to asylums for treatment.
Not only that, but once you’re in, you’re in. The only person with the power to discharge you is the person who committed you in the first place.
One outrageous example of this 100 yr old system is Zhu Jinhong, a woman who was sent to a psychiatric ward by her own mother. She was kept there for almost 200 days before being rescued by a group of lawyers and journalists.
“I was wrongly diagnosed as having mental illnesses and was hospitalized even before the doctors met me.”…
“Dozens of nurses surrounded me and gave me medicine against my will,” she recalled.
And why? Because the two had gotten into a property dispute.
Don’t even begin to think the problems stop here. China Daily reports that around 70% of mentally ill people in China are yet to receive effective treatment due to a lack of funding. With a population of more than 100 million affected by mental illness, even the ones in need are denied access to correct methods of rehabilitation. Perhaps China’s plans to reform healthcare should also look to define the task of differentiating the ill from the healthy.