Accuracy in Media

The Foundation For Economic Education called out bias from The New York Times in how it portrayed China’s health care system in a narrated video.

Sarah Lilly, a blogger for the foundation, wrote an article headlined, “The New York Times Reveals the Horrors of Capitalism — By Showing China’s State-Run Hospitals.”

In the piece, Lilly wrote that the premise of the Times video was to criticize private health care in China but did not depict any for-profit health care facilities.

“Under Mao Zedong the Communist state provided free health care for all,” the New York Times video narrator states. “Decades later, China adopted a unique brand of capitalism that transformed the country from a poor farming nation into an economic superpower. Life expectancy soared. But the introduction of capitalism and the retreat of the state meant that health care was no longer free.”

“If the Times had visited one of China’s many private hospitals, they would have found something quite different from the chaos depicted in China’s public health care facilities,” Lilly wrote. “China’s private hospitals are the opposite of the chaos depicted in the Times’ video. Wait times are practically non-existent. You don’t have to bribe anyone to be seen.

Lilly, who lives in China, had her appendix removed in a private Chinese hospital. She said she received excellent care — after she was directed by locals away from the government-run system because she is of European descent.

“China’s experience is what inevitably results, sooner or later, from government-run medicine,” Lilly wrote. “The Times is correct to label it tragic. But it takes some real chutzpah to blame the tragedy on capitalists,” Lilly writes. “If the Times had wished to see capitalism in action, they had only to visit one of China’s private hospitals. I have been to the ER no fewer than six times in Shanghai at various hospitals. Each time I have been registered immediately and sent to a consultation room within 10 minutes of arrival. And I even have the appendix scar to approve it.”

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