The Chinese Embassy has posted a notice on its website addressed to its citizens who are taking a vacation or studying abroad.
The travel alert detailed the dangers that a Chinese citizen may encounter such as theft, robbery, gun violence, and high medical costs. It also stated that "law and order are not well-enforced in America."
Coming at a time when Sino-American trade and political relationships are tense, the notice highlighted concerns in America such as gun laws and violence. Additionally, there has been a drop in tourist destinations in the United States.
Although it is normal for consulates and embassies to issue the citizens warning, the latest one from China has taken a straighter and blunter approach to give caution on law enforcement and the possible cost of health care in America.
"American medical treatment is extremely expensive and visitors should purchase medical and personal accident insurance according to their personal health and financial situations," according to the notice.
The warning comes with proof. With or without insurance, the high price people have to pay in America for healthcare is undeniable.
World Health Organization reported that in 2015, the healthcare cost in the United States was a staggering $9,536. This had a significant difference with Norway's health expenditure which was $7,464, Australia's $4,934, France's $4,026, and China's $426.
The vast difference in the health cost prices between China and first world countries can be attributed to the higher standards of living and incomes, and the quality of the medical care provided. Even so, America still trumps other countries in medical care costs.
China's Health Care Crisis
Having a medical emergency while on vacation in the United States will break one's bank. However, more Chinese citizens come to the United States to treat serious illnesses, which is a sign of the ongoing health crisis in their country.
One example of this is Chinese Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo's case, who was imprisoned in 2008 but was released in 2017 due to his terminal case of liver cancer. To treat the illness, the Chinese government allowed Liu access to Western doctors, although he later passed away.
Additionally, Ctrip, the Asian country's most popular online travel marketplace, reported that over 500,000 medical trips from China occurred in 2016 and that the Chinese are spending too much on high-quality health services.
The trend has also spread in China. The apparent health care crisis has been giving weight to the country's poor. This explains why violence against medical staff including nurses and doctors is common in the country.