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No place for farce in charity

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2014-07-19 08:53

No place for farce in charity
Modern take on adultery and morality
No place for farce in charity
Savior or showman, saint or sinner?
The cost of charity has been brought down dramatically from when a donor and the recipient were like two fish in a vast sea.

Still, many funds allocate so much money for administrative expenses that one has reason to suspect the real motive behind such endeavors.

What is truly missing here is a safety net in China's healthcare system that would catch those slipping through the cracks.

Philanthropy is not designed to cover all corners of society. A government-initiated nationwide program can guarantee that every citizen receives basic medical care.

The cost of such a program is so enormous that it goes beyond the capacity of any individual or corporation. It has to be funded with tax money, which means every citizen has to chip in, depending on his or her income.

In Mo's case, as long as his family income and medical condition are verified, he should be able to apply for this sort of government aid.

If the country's current economic situation makes it difficult to cover the total cost, there should be a mechanism of phasing in some financial assistance - for example, maybe waiving part of the costs at government-run hospitals.

As China grows in prosperity, those needing support will shrink and therefore the safety net can be larger and stronger.

On top of that, private businesses such as insurance companies have a role to play.

College students should be automatically enrolled under some kind of affordable plan, which, again, might not pay all of Mo's medical bills but at least could provide some kind of cushion.

The most ridiculous suggestion I read was that the families of Mo's 14 schoolmates should each put up 70,000 yuan to make up for the shortfall.

The same goes for the argument that healthcare professionals take a cut in their salary so that poor people can get treated.

Schools are in less of a position than corporate executives to shoulder such costs, and driving doctors' income artificially low will only serve to dissuade bright youngsters from entering the profession.

Those facing medical emergencies such as Mo may receive moral support from their friends - but it should be society as a whole, not someone who happens to be close to them, or a big name, who should be obliged or coerced into helping.

Maybe then, the surrendering of dignity or the staging of these kinds of tragically tinged farces will be unnecessary.

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