As of Jan. 28, a post about a banner saying “Operating room is full of money” at a Guangdong hospital has gained more than 150 million views on China’s Weibo social network.

Dongguan Kanghua Hospital suddenly became the focus of public opinion after its year-end summary meeting on Jan. 21 this year.

In the picture, many people have dinner together in a hall, and the banner on it reads, “The tiger is born to welcome the new year, and the operating room is full of money!” The small print below the banner reads “2022 Kanghua Hospital Operating Room Summary Conference.”

The post has received widespread criticism. However, many Chinese netizens also said that it is the reality of Chinese hospitals.

Kanghua is a tertiary hospital and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kanghua Medical Co., Ltd. (03689), listed on the Hong Kong stock market. According to China’s hospital classification, the tertiary grade A is the largest hospital in terms of scale.

According to Kanghua Medical’s financial report for the first half of 2021, the company’s first-half revenue was 870 million yuan (about 140 million USD), of which inpatient medical revenue accounted for about 56 percent of total revenue.

In the first half of 2021, Kanghua Hospital had 24,191 inpatients, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year. The average expenditure per patient is 16,525.3 yuan (about 2,600 USD), and the total hospitalization income is about 400 million yuan (approximately 63 million USD). Inpatient medical care often involves surgery, which shows that the hospital’s operating room is the most profitable department.

The semi-annual financial report also shows that Kanghua Hospital has VIP medical services, and the average expenditure per VIP inpatient is 36,378.5 yuan (about 5,700 USD). 

In addition, the Chinese enterprise inquiry platform “Qi Chacha” showed that Dongguan Kanghua Hospital Co., Ltd. was involved in 88 judicial cases, caused mainly by medical service contract disputes and medical damage liability disputes. In 24 of the medical service contract disputes, the company sought medical expenses owed by the defendants.

In the face of intense criticism from outsiders, the WeChat public account of Dongguan Kanghua Hospital on Jan. 27 explained that some staff in the hospital’s central operating room had a meal. In addition, some nurses hung “Make your own” banners to create a comfortable dining atmosphere. 

Since the Chinese regime launched “medical industrialization” in the 1990s, many hospitals have provided different grades and levels of services. The so-called VIP service is one of them.

Similar incidents have occurred in other cities in Guangdong.

In February 2020, Shenzhen Second People’s Hospital published an article to congratulate the Thoracic Surgery Department on surpassing 1,000 surgeries in 2020.

In November 2012, a similar banner was hung on the outside wall of the People’s Hospital of Wuchuan City, Guangdong Province.

Current affairs commentator Wang Dai told Chinese media Da Ji Yuan that the entire Chinese society is in a state of moral decay and that the hospital is just one of them, adding that China’s “medical industrialization” was the catalyst in the decline of the hospital.

An independent writer Zhuge Mingyang said that under China’s rule, “curing and saving people” has long since become “curing disease for money.”

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