November 22, 2009

Chinese Hospital Fines Overweight Newborns

One People's Hospital in Anyang, Henan recently enjoyed 15 minutes of fame on national TV due to its new "birth control" policy. This policy is not the famous One Child Policy, introduced in 1979 by the Chinese government to curb the nascent population explosion. Rather than restricting the number of children a couple may have, the local hospital sought to define the ideal baby weight at birth.

According to this latest regulation, parents of babies that weigh more than 8 jin (4kg or 8.8lbs) will be subjected to fines. For each liang (50g) in excess mass, the parents must pay an additional 100 yuan. When presented with their medical bills, many women are surprised to find out that after 9-month pregnancies, several hours of labor, and eventual deliveries, they must now face the consequences of "over-nutrition," as attested by their too well-developed infants.

Because its Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology has a better reputation than most local medical establishments, this People's Hospital continues to be sought out by grumbling parents-to-be. Even poor families will scrounge for extra few hundred dollars to ensure the safe deliveries of their young. When confronted by reporters who question the validity of the said new regulation, unflappable medical professionals point out that giant babies typically result labor complications.

The weight policy has been upheld in most places in China as another clever way for hospitals to draw in revenue. The large number of women waiting to have children, the improbability of controlling fetus weight, and the genuine concern most people have for the welfare of their wives and newborn mean that this hospital has just found its own goose that lays the golden eggs.

Here are a mix of comments and reactions from Netizens on a local Anyang forum:
1. Crazy money grubbers
2. Quite an embarrassing piece of news to come from our home city! I just lost face.
3. Will the hospital refund money for underweight babies?
4. Thank god my daughter was born before this. She weighed 9 jin (4.5kg or 9.9lbs).
--Haha, people are glad about this sort of things now? I guess you just managed to save a lot of ¥
5. The People Hospital in Hua Town (滑县人民医院)
6. Motherfuckers. Always out to rip off ordinary people. You have to pay least 4000 yuan at the First People's Hospital now to have your baby delivered, whereas they used to charge just 1000 yuan. To make more money, the doctors tell everybody their infants have all kinds of health problems and need to be kept under observation at the hospital
7. Brilliant business men. The medical profession is such a waste for their talents.
8. Does this include twins?
Source(s) (News video) (cost to have a baby in China) (Anyang forum)

1 comment:

  1. This is very nice to know that at least one country is taking actions about overweight issues. I hope that many countries more join the way China is taking to fight overweight.


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