CHINESE MEDICINE In China, health care is like veterinary medicine–cash up front or no treatment (1). Health care, of course, is an issue vexing the world’s most developed countries, including the USA, where people without insurance can lose all their savings if they get seriously ill. But, in worst-case scenarios, people who need urgent care generally receive it. Medicaid, of course, and Medicare help out. That’s not the case in China, where patients are routinely denied care if they cannot come up with the money to pay for it in advance–even in emergencies. The World Health Organization has ranked China fourth from the bottom of 191 countries in terms of the fairness of its medical coverage in a survey issued in 2000. In March 2005, a report from a Chinese cabinet think tank said that unless China overhauls its medical care, “it will directly affect economic development, social stability, and public support for reform.” The crisis in China’s health care system is already showing signs of holding the country back. Health care costs are one of the main reasons Chinese save as much as 40% of their incomes. Fewer than one third of China’s 1.3 billion people have health insurance. More than half of all health spending in China is out-of-pocket.