Superstar Chinese actress Li Bingbing has been rather sickly of late, being forced to fly back home from filming in Australia over a nasty and debate-rousing case of tonsillitis.
Not impressed with Australia’s medical system, Li blasted Australian doctors on her Weibo account last month for apparently being unable to treat her illness, writing: “It may kill me if I go on suffering in Australia for another night.”
After returning back to China and getting shot up with some intravenous antibiotic treatment at the Peking Union College Medical Hospital, Li then went online to praise the “good care of the motherland.”
Although Li was discharged from the hospital on December 23, full recovery is apparently still to come, Li’s management has released photos of her worsened state, including her nasty bloodstained tissues.
Here’s their statement on Li’s condition:
We are very worried for Bingbing and she needs to have injections daily. She also coughs until blood appears and is shedding tears when lying on the bed as it is way too painful. However, she is braver than us and will memorize her English script upon feeling better. She also continues to write about her experience and real feelings despite her weak body.
The whole drama started early last month, when Li purportedly fell sick with a 39-degree fever on the set of the upcoming Chinese-Australian sci-fi film The Nest. After purportedly suffering from said fever for two weeks, Li (wrongly) suspected she had SARS and visited three different Australian hospitals, claiming to have been forced to wait at one for two hours before getting to see a doctor. On December 6th, Li posted some selfies from her hospital bed that was stained with her blood supposedly stemming from a nurse’s failure to correctly insert an IV line.
However, the pictures have raised suspicion because they depict equipment supposedly not in use at Australian hospitals, and contradict policies for the immediate changing of soiled bedsheets.
Additionally, Li’s account failed to garner sympathy from some Chinese netizens, with one Australian-based Chinese doctor questioning Li’s life choices, including her waiting two weeks to seek treatment and then attempting to seek treatment for a fever from hospitals rather than a general practitioner, as is the norm in Australia. In response Li’s management issued a legal letter demanding the removal of the article due to inaccuracies, with Li claiming to have indeed consulted a GP, and denying seeking preferential treatment or misunderstanding English.
The kerfuffle has sparked debate on Chinese social media, with some netizens backing Li’s assertion about the superiority of Chinese health practitioners, whilst others discussed foreigners’ contrastingly stricter attitude towards antibiotic overuse.
Meanwhile, more suspicious netizens accused Li of simply serving up government propaganda.
Deliberate or not, it would seem the medical drama is only serving to advertise the upcoming movie, for which Li is still expected to return for filming.
By Pinky Latt
[Images via Weibo]