Saturday December 14, 2019
Home Lead Story Kim Jong Un’s...

Kim Jong Un’s Doctor For The Right Price, North Korea Hospitals Work For Money

“The hospitals are for privileged people, but since state support is so small, they would be difficult to run properly without extra money from ordinary patients,”

0
//
In this Feb. 20, 2013 photo, a doctor speaks on a phone at the reception area of a newly-built breast cancer research facility at Pyongyang Maternity Hospital in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder). RFA

A medical facility specifically catering North Korea’s privileged elites has been forced to open its doors to common citizens in exchange for bribes, in an effort to stem financial difficulties, sources say.

Pyongyang’s Bonghwa Medical Center offers top-notch medical care, but has officially only been available to Kim Jong Un and Workers’ Party officials of the highest ranks.

Now strapped for cash, the hospital will admit anyone who greases the palms of the right people. While health care is officially free for all citizens, hospitals for elites, like Bongwha are a step above what citizens typically have access to.

“My nephew is a doctor and he has been suffering from stomach problems for more than 10 years. He was [recently] treated at Bonghwa Medical Center and has been healed completely,” said a source from North Pyongan province in an interview with RFA’s Korean Service.

heart
In 2010, the World Health Organization controversially described North Korea’s universal health care system as “the envy of the developing world,” contradicting a report from Amnesty International that same year that said the country’s hospitals were barely functioning and unable to deal with epidemics and rampant malnutrition. Pixabay

“It cost him a lot of money to get treated [there], but now I have come to realize that money can do anything,” said the source.

The source said Bonghwa is known as “the best hospital in the Republic,” and that it is reserved for politically important people, expressing disgust that it could now be bought into.

“It is surprising that ordinary people can [get] medical treatment [there] if they bribe them. I feel bitter because there’s nothing money can’t do in this society,” said the source.

The source noted that bribery is not unique to Bonghwa — other well-regarded hospitals are doing the same.

“Well-known hospitals in Pyongyang, including Kim Man-yu Hospital, Namsan Hospital, and the Red Cross Hospital are treating a number of ordinary patients from other regions. They are getting medical treatment because they have bribed high-rank officials,” said the source.

The source said that patients of Bonghwa and the other hospitals have access to medicines that aren’t available to the general public, but these too come with a hefty price tag for the patients who have bribed their way in.

“Since they are not high-ranking officials, ordinary patients have to pay a lot for these prescription drugs. It’s like the hospitals are earning foreign cash off patients,” the source said.

Even if a patient has the means to get into the good hospitals, the level of care can still differ depending on how much was paid in bribe.

“If you give a large amount, they will even treat you better than a high-ranking official from the Central Committee [of the Workers’ Party.]”

A North Korean defector surnamed Lee who settled in South Korea confirmed the North Korean medical industry’s state of affairs.

“In the past, hospitals that have been designated only for high-ranking officials in Pyongyang have ignored their mandate and provided care to ordinary patients,” said Lee, adding, “Without taking bribes from these people, it would be difficult for hospitals to stay open, and for doctors to make an actual living.”

“That’s just how things are in the North Korean medical industry,” said Lee.

money
“It cost him a lot of money to get treated [there], but now I have come to realize that money can do anything,” said the source. Pixabay
“Medical equipment and hospital supplies provided by the outside world, supposedly as humanitarian aid, all go to these elite hospitals,” said Lee.

“The hospitals are for privileged people, but since state support is so small, they would be difficult to run properly without extra money from ordinary patients,” Lee said.

Also Read: Milestone in The Diplomatic War on Terror, As Beijing Agrees To Declare JeM Chief Masood Azhar Terrorist

In 2010, the World Health Organization controversially described North Korea’s universal health care system as “the envy of the developing world,” contradicting a report from Amnesty International that same year that said the country’s hospitals were barely functioning and unable to deal with epidemics and rampant malnutrition.

In February, The New Humanitarian published a report describing North Korea’s “silent health crisis,” which acknowledged a recent improvement in public health within the country, but described its health system as inadequate. The Geneva-based news outlet founded by the United Nations said that a formal peace agreement with the United States and South Korea would not in and of itself improve North Korea’s health care situation. (IANS)

Next Story

Ways to Make Money in the Stock Market

Adopt a suitable trading strategy to earn more money in the stock market

0
Stock Market
Know about how to make profit in the stock market. Pixabay

Individuals who want to earn money in the stock market have plenty of choices to make. In addition to picking and choosing specific securities to trade, they first need to select a general trading strategy. Too many enthusiastic people jump into the market without a plan of attack, which can mean financial suicide.

The smart thing is to decide on an approach that makes sense for your level of risk tolerance, your financial resources and the amount of time you can give to the pursuit. Day traders, for example, often make the market their career, devoting every weekday morning and afternoon to the pursuit of profit. For the grand majority of us, however, other methods make more sense.

Peruse the list below and decide which one is the best fit for your personality, budget and schedule:

Long-Term Trading

Whether you have a little or a lot of money to invest, the long-term strategy can be a good fit for anyone. More than half of all people who buy and sell stocks online fall into this category. The beauty of working this way is that you can choose stocks that move slowly and build value over the long-haul. As long as you are patient and not worried about making a kill, this approach makes sense. Those who have self-directed retirement accounts often spend just a few hours each year re-balancing their portfolios. The drop shares that haven’t moved at all, add one or two new companies to the mix and leave it at that, until next year’s readjustment.

Stock market
In order to make more money in the stock market, individuals need to adopt a suitable trading strategy. Pixabay

Day Trading

If you have a strong stomach, at least $25,000 to put into a brokerage account and a lot of time on your hands, day trading could be your calling. Be ready for a few months of training, many sessions on a simulated platform and about a year of ramping up to full-time activity. Day traders usually hold no positions overnight but take their profits by scalping small price changes on large buys. If XYZ company, for example, is selling for $89.50 per share and suddenly goes up to $89.60, a day trader might buy 100 shares if the market indicates that the price will continue to rise to $90. That would mean a profit of $40 in the span of a few minutes, but 100 shares would cost close to $9,000.

Specializing in One or Two Securities

It’s becoming more common to specialize in just one or two companies. A big advantage to this style is the knowledge that comes with specialization. If you decide to only buy and sell shares of Microsoft and Walmart, for example, you’ll be pretty adept at spotting price changes before they occur.

Also Read- Traders Protest Government Collusion with Amazon, Flipkart: Report

Profiting from Precious Metal Stocks

Even people who are not keen on Wall Street in general often trade stocks based on the precious metals. This group includes companies that operate in the mining industry, which is a sector unto itself. Additionally, metals enthusiasts can buy and sell exchange traded funds (ETFs) that hold massive amounts of bullion. Silver and gold traders have been using ETFs and mining stocks to play the market for decades.