紐約時報（The New York Times）是一家日報，于1851年創辦，是美國嚴肅報刊的代表。由于風格古典嚴肅，它有時也被戲稱為“灰色女士”。近日，紐約時報對厚樸方舟及其客戶郭淑師進行了采訪報道，內容如下：
BEIJING — China’s medical system could not stop the cancer eating at Guo Shushi’s stomach. It roared back even after Mr. Guo, a 63-year-old real estate developer, endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiation at two hospitals.
Then his son-in-law discovered online that — for a price — companies were willing to help critically ill Chinese people seek treatment abroad. Soon Mr. Guo was at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, receiving a new immunotherapy drug, Keytruda, which is not available in China. In April, nearly four months later, his tumor has shrunk and his weight has gone up.
他的女婿隨即在網上發現，一些公司愿意——以不菲的價格——幫助身患重病的中國患者去海外求醫。很快，郭淑師到了波士頓的丹娜-法伯癌癥研究院(Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)，得以使用一種在中國找不到的免疫療法方法方法方法方法方法方法方法新藥——吉舒達(Keytruda)。將近四個月后，也就是今年四月，他的腫瘤縮小了，體重也增加了。
“When I arrived, I could feel how large the gap was,” said Mr. Guo of the difference in care.
The cost: about $220,000 — all paid out of pocket.
China’s nearly 1.4 billion people depend on a strained and struggling health care system that belies the country’s rise as an increasingly wealthy global power. But more and more, the rich are finding a way out.
Western hospitals and a new group of well-connected companies are reaching for well-heeled Chinese patients who need lifesaving treatments unavailable at home. The trend is a twist on the perception of medical tourism as a way to save money, often on noncritical procedures like dental work and face-lifts. For these customers, getting out of China is a matter of life or death.
Medical care is just one manifestation of China’s wide wealth disparity. A new generation of affluent Chinese can seek help at private hospitals or go abroad, even as the rest endure long waits and find their treatment falling short.
Chinese people took an estimated 500,000 outbound medical trips last year, a fivefold increase from a year earlier, according to Ctrip.com International. While the bulk of that is focused on plastic surgery and routine examinations, medical travel agencies say the number of critically ill Chinese patients leaving the country for medical treatment is growing.
“China is among the countries where we have seen the greatest growth in recent years,” Dr. Stephanie L. Hines, the chairwoman of executive health and international medicine at the ME, said in an email.
“據我們所見，來自中國的患者是人數增長較快的群體之一，”美國權威M醫院(ME)高管健康保障項目和國際醫藥部門負責人斯蒂芬妮·L·海恩斯(Stephanie L. Hines)在電子郵件中表示。
At Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, employees help patients with travel and lodging. Mass General, ME and Boston Children’s Hospital provide interpreters.
在波士頓的麻省總醫院(Massachusetts General Hospital)，有雇員為患者提供旅行和住宿方面的幫助。麻省總醫院、美國權威M醫院和波士頓兒童醫院(Boston Children’s Hospital)均提供翻譯。
Mr. Guo is one of more than 1,000 patients that one company based in Beijing, Hope Noah Health Company, says it helped last year — a number it says was double that of the year before. Upon arriving in the United States or Japan, the two countries to which Hope Noah sends people, patients are greeted at the airports by Hope Noah employees and whisked off to a rented apartment. When they head to the hospital, a Hope Noah translator is by their side.
As recently as the 1970s, China’s health care system provided cradle-to-grave medical support. But despite a huge health care reform plan, its public hospitals are overburdened, with too few beds and doctors to deliver the kind of care that many in the West take for granted. A 2015 study by The Lancet based on United Nations criteria found that China ranked 92 out of 188 countries, after Cuba and Mexico.
The government has increased spending and encouraged private investors to address the problem. A total of about 4.3 million cancer cases were diagnosed in China in 2015, or almost 12,000 cases a day, compared with 2.4 million in 2010, according to the state-run news media. The five-year survival rate of Chinese cancer patients is around 30 percent, compared with about 70 percent in the United States, according to China’s National Cancer Prevention and Research Center.
Patients often have to travel to Hong Kong and Macau — regions of China governed by their own laws — to buy foreign drugs, which on the mainland face an approval process that takes three to five years. The drug that Mr. Guo is using, Keytruda, was approved for use only last year in a medical tourism pilot zone in the southern Chinese island of Hainan.
In top public hospitals in the top-tier Chinese cities, lines begin forming just after midnight. Appointments for the best doctors are snapped up before dawn. For those who can afford it, tickets can be bought from scalpers hawking appointment numbers. In March, the authorities in Beijing said that they would bar public hospitals from imposing consultation fees on patients, in a bid to reduce public discontent.
By contrast, Mr. Guo said his experience at Dana-Farber was “more humane.” Mr. Guo’s doctor let him speak. There was easy access to food and beverages. The waiting area had a couch.
“In China, the most that we can get is a metal chair,” he said, speaking by videoconference from his apartment in Boston. “Even having a cup of hot water is inconvenient.”
But the benefits can be fleeting. “The biggest challenge that we’ve had is ensuring continuity of care when the patient returns back home to China,” said Misty Hathaway, who leads Mass General’s Center for Specialized Services.
但患者可能無法長久享有這些好處。“我們面臨的大挑戰，就是在病人回到中國以后確保治療的連續性，”麻省總醫院特殊服務部(Specialized Services)負責人米斯蒂·海瑟薇(Misty Hathaway)說。
△31歲的趙曉青，在南京的辦公室。她把她5歲的女兒帶到德國進行質子治療。 （紐約時報Patrick Wack）
It has caused a lot of problems. Many patients go overseas, and indeed, for several months, it’s good。But when they return, if their treatment can’t keep up, then it’s useless.”
Last November, Zhao Xiaoqing, 31, a bridge designer in the Chinese city of Nanjing, took her 5-year-old daughter, Kefei, to the Essen University Hospital in Germany to get proton therapy treatment for her child’s brain tumor. The treatment is available in Shanghai only for children 14 and above. She spent about $140,000, more than half of that borrowed from relatives.
住在南京、現年31歲的橋梁設計師趙小晴，去年曾帶著患有腦瘤的五歲女兒菲菲，到德國的埃森大學醫院(Essen University Hospital)接受質子治療。在上海，這種治療方法只面向14歲及以上的孩子。她花了大約14萬美元，超過一半都是從親戚那里借來的。
Kefei’s tumor shrank. Ms. Zhao said she was willing to spend double what she had paid.
“After going abroad, you can see that the middlemen are not exaggerating,” she said. “In fact, what they’ve told us pales in comparison to what we’ve experienced.”
原題：China’s Ill, and Wealthy, Look Abroad for Medical Treatment