When Jin Guilian’s family took him to a county hospital in this gritty industrial city after a jarring two-day bus ride during which he drifted in and out of consciousness, the doctors took one look at him and said: “How dare you do this to him? This man could die at any moment.”
Jin Guilian lays in his hospital bed in San Tang town in Anhui province with a relative close by. Jin Guilian’s ailments are curable, but the medical care doesn’t exist in San Tang town.
The doctors’ next question, though, was about money. How much would the patient’s family of peasants and migrant workers be able to pay – up front – to care for Mr. Jin’s failing heart and a festering arm that had turned black?