Thursday, November 17, 2011

Who is Dr. Glen MacPherson?

  Part One: Who is Dr Glen MacPherson
Part Two: How to Manage Neck Pain and Back Pain
Part Three: Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Service Providers in Shanghai, China
Part Four: Dark Side of the Chinese Health System

Part One: Who is Dr Glen MacPherson?

Dr. Glen MacPherson is a Chiropractor who works at Global HealthCare and Landseed Hospital in Shanghai, China.

Dr MacPherson is a Canadian. He completed his chiropractic education in Melbourne, Australia in 1999. However he was not formally registered with the authority until 2001. Before leaving Australia, he worked as a chiropractor at Cottesloe (a suburb in Perth). He visited India and then moved to China. In November 2004, he got a teaching job at a university in Huang Shi (an hour from Wuhan), Hubei Province. Since then he spent several years teaching English language. In 2009, he arrived in Shanghai, working as a chiropractor again. Yes, you may have noticed that, in most of the time after the graduation, he was not practicing chiropractic.

He is well known among the expats in Shanghai. Since arrival in Shanghai last year, he, using “yamari” as his user name, has posted more than 830 posts on the forum of He uses every opportunity to promote his Chiropractic business at Global HealthCare and Landseed Hospital. At the same time he makes unfounded accusations against other health care providers and hospitals. He also uses foul words such as “idiots” and “wanker” to assault others, behaving like a cyber bully. His “patient and personal friend”, “TheBeaver”, also regularly posts endorsement on the forum and verbally abuses others who don’t agree with Dr MacPherson.

Dr MacPherson has no professional ethics and he does not respect basic rights of patients. He calls patients who desperately seek medical help for severe back pain “idiots” (see the link below).

He also advices sick people not to seek medical help or treatment. His posts often show that he lack of basic knowledge of biology, anatomy, physiology and health in general.

He openly and strongly opposes immunisation. His activity directly contradicts hospital’s policy promoting and providing vaccinations to the local community.

There is no doubt that his personal behaviour and professional misconduct have caused significant risks to the Public, and also caused significant damage to the reputation of Global HealthCare and Landseed Hospital. I cannot see any good reason that he should be allowed to work at the hospitals, along with medical professionals and other health workers.

Here are some of Dr MacPherson (yamari)’s posts (with links to his posts): available only via email

(I have received an email from Landseed Hospital, informing me that Dr. Glen Macpherson was no longer working at Landseed Hospital. December 07, 2011)
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Part Two: How to manage neck pain and back pain

All of us may experience neck pain or back pain at some stage in our life. The most common cause of neck / back pain is a minor strain to muscles and / or ligaments. People suffering from this type of neck / back pain usually recover quickly. So how can we manage it if happens? There are several simple things you can do at home if the pain is not severe:
  • rest, avoid excessive movement that worsens the pain
  • ice packs within 2-3 days of injury
  • simple analgesics, such as paracetamol
  • gentle neck or back exercise. Here is the best exercise program I have found, with clear instruction:
    You can do it at home every day while watching TV.
  • You may chose to see a physiotherapist
  • For severe pain, seek medical attention (but not a chiropractor). Please note, according to international standards, CT scan or MRI of the spine is only requested when there is evidence of nerve or spinal cord compromise, or the pain fails to respond to usual treatment. Plain X-Ray is of no value in diagnosing the problem other than generating revenue for the doctors and hospitals. Many doctors in China are very keen to order unnecessary tests in order to boost their kickback income bonus (please read "The Dark Side of the Chinese Health System" below)

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Part Three: Chiropractic & Physiotherapy in Shanghai, China

Parkway Health (previously known as World Link Medical Center)
(the largest international medical service provider in Shanghai, with multiple clinic locations in both Pudong and Puxi) 
Services available: Sports medicine, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic (trained in Australia), Occupational therapy
Shanghai East International Medical Center
(in Pudong area only) 

Services available:  Sport medicine, Chiropractic (trained in Australia)

St. Michael Hospital
(in Puxi area only)

Services available: two chiropractors (Both of them are trained in Australia)

Shanghai Chiropractic
 (in Puxi area)
Services available:  two chiropractors at the clinic (Both of them are trained in USA)

Shanghai United Family Hospital
(in Pudong and Minhang District only) 

Services available: Sport medicine, Physiotherapy

SinoUnited Health 
(several clinic locations in Pudong and Puxi) 

Services available: Sport Medicine, Orthopaedics and Physiotherapy

Wooridul International Spine Hospital
Services available: Physiotherapy

Shanghai Pain Clinic
(no website)
3F, 388 Hongbaoshi Road (near by Gubei Road), Changning District
(021) 6209-2676 / 131 2233 9946
Services available:  Physiotherapy

Renai Hospital
(in Puxi, near IKEA and Shanghai Indoor Stadium) 

Services available: No Physiotherapy or Chiropractic

Global HealthCare (Hongkongese and Shanghainess joint venture)
 (not recommended)

Landseed Hospital (Taiwanese owned and mainly for Taiwanese in Shanghai)
(not recommended)

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Part Four: Dark side of the Chinese health system

A trip to the hospital in China can be daunting especially if you cannot speak the language and you don’t know the system. It is hard to give your complete trust to a hospital, regardless it is a local hospital or international hospital, with all the stories of hospitals running extensive and unnecessary tests just to make money off you and your insurance. Some expats don't even have big insurance packages.

Public hospital fundings in China are not from state or local governments but mainly from the fees paid by either patients or employer's health funds. The income of doctors and nurses heavily rely on the earning from selling drugs, ordering unnecessary but expensive tests and investigations, kick backs from pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers as well as cash bribery from patients or their relatives. As a result, doctors in China, like car salesmen who get percentage of their sale, may prescribe medications or order investigations that you don't need.

If a patient needs surgery, he / she has to bribe the surgeon with a large sum of cash inside a so called "red envelope" beforehand or he / she will not have the surgery.

I have discussed the matter with some doctors in China recently. They agreed that all public hospitals in China are in deed private hospitals as they are not funded by taxpayers. The Chinese "public" hospital system is absolutely corrupted.

It's very disgusting !!!

I just read an article about how unlicenced poor quality prosthesis ended up in Chinese hospitals

Seven years ago, Mr Wong had spinal fusion surgery for his back pain at Shenzhen No. 2 People's Hospital. At the time he was told that the titanium platesimported from overseas would be used.

Recently he went to Peking University Shenzhen Hospital to have the second surgery for his constant back pain. What suprised him was that the metal plates initially used were actually make in Wujing, Jiangsu Province. As the plates didn't meet the standards, they should not have been used for the spinal fusion in the first place.

The author then said that an orthopaedic surgeon received a list of prosthesis from a manufacturer, in which it clearly states that the doctors who use these prosthesis will receive 30% - 40% of the sale value as kickbacks.

Photo: pr╬┐test at Shenzhen No.2 People's Hospital:



Kickbacks in China's Hospitals: An Institutional Flaw: ... 6&cid=1503

Hospitals in China rely heavily on drug selling to continue their operation, giving doctors a chance to make illegal money. Pictured: A comic satirizing the kickback problem in China's medical industry. (Photo/Xinhua)

China's Ministry of Health has vowed to tackle bribery in hospitals after news of a scandal involving dozens of doctors in eastern China broke early this week.

The news emerged in a list published on social networking website 19lao on Nov. 15, accusing doctors at several hospitals in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, of taking bribes from a pharmaceutical company.

The list explicitly detailed the name and price of drugs, medical equipment, and the names of medical staff involved in the kickbacks. These staff received payoffs in cash, oil cards, digital cameras and shopping cards.

According to the official People's Daily, an unnamed official at the Ministry of Health said those found to have accepted bribes would face suspension from work or having their medical licenses revoked in serious cases.

Bribery is a common problem in the medical industry in China. Some pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies pay kickbacks to doctors and hospital staff to boost their sales. The cases in Hangzhou are typical.

A poll conducted by People's Daily Online asked the public why they thought corruption was present in hospitals. Among 9,647 online voters, 49% of them said it was because punishments for corruption are not harsh enough; 33% said doctors are not reasonably treated and cannot reach a balance between duty and reward; and 15% said receiving kickbacks is a hidden rule in the business.

However, many believe that the kickback problem cannot be solved solely by punishing medical staff. Insiders have said it is an institutional problem.

"In China, it is common for hospitals to make profits from drug selling, since they are in charge of the pharmaceutical departments and this provides the chance for some doctors to make illegal money," Xiao Yonghong, chief physician of the No. 1 Hospital affiliated to Zhejiang University, told China Daily.

"Meanwhile, because the drug market and the medical device market are intensely competitive, some companies use bribes to promote sales," Xiao said.

A dentist surnamed Min from a middle-sized state-run hospital in Beijing told Xinhua news agency, "We have to look for a reason why some doctors take kickbacks," she said. "It's because our salary is too low."

Min said her monthly income is about 2,000 yuan (US$249), including both salary and bonus. "With such a salary, living in Beijing is not easy."

"I earn 3 yuan (US$0.40) for an appendectomy, do you believe it?" a surgeon surnamed Wu said. Another young surgeon from a big state-run Beijing hospital told Xinhua the same story.

The Ministry of Health has tried to root out the problem by investing more in public hospitals to prevent them from relying on medicine sales. Public hospitals chosen for the reform trials have been invested in heavily by the governments to cover all operational costs, including the purchase of drugs and medical equipment.

"There used to be opportunities to get kickbacks, but now there is no access," said Wang Xiaodong, a surgeon in Zichang County People's Hospital, one of the hospitals in Shaanxi province chosen for reform trials.

According to a report issued in 2007 by Consumers International (CI), a London-based federation of consumer groups from 113 countries, multinational drug companies target doctors in developing countries with dinners and lavish gifts such as air conditioners, washing machines and down-payments on cars, laptops, club membership, domestic cattle, foreign conferences at five-star hotels, brand new cars and school tuition fees as incentives to prescribe their drugs.

Richard Lloyd, director general of CI, called for a ban on all gifts to doctors.

"The pharmaceutical industry sees the developing world as a trillion-dollar opportunity to secure profits over the next 40 years. Weak regulation makes these markets an easy target for the multinational drug companies, but consumer health expenditure in these countries can ill afford to be squandered on irrational drug use," Lloyd said, according to the UK-based Guardian.

The impact on patients is enormous, the report says, with up to 50% of medicines in developing countries inappropriately prescribed, dispensed or sold.


Info from Foreign Teachers Guide to Living and Working in China: ... -china.htm

Healthcare System in China:

The healthcare system in China today is delivered exclusively through a network of government and a few privately owned hospitals: Physicians do not maintain private offices. Whether you have a bad cold or are in need of surgery, you must go to the local hospital to receive medical care. These hospitals, depending on location, range from facilities where you can receive world-class healthcare to relatively dirty, poorly equipped and understaffed structures that far more resemble an old converted boarding house than a modern hospital. As a rule, standard sterilization procedures and hygienic conditions are virtually non-existent and most hospitals, outside the three major and other heavily populated cities, do not even have an autoclave. Depending on location and the hospital, foreigners have reported experiences and results that range from those that are comparable to the best healthcare services available in their respective countries to near-fatal outcomes as well as those involving attempts at overcharging, if not extortion. One foreign teacher, on a popular EFL website, reported that his school was actually in cahoots with the local hospital to perform very expensive and unnecessary surgery.

A good part of the reason for some of these questionable practices is that doctors in China do not enjoy the same social status as do their Western counterparts and they are, relatively speaking, terribly underpaid. A senior physician at a government-owned hospital may earn no more than 3,000 yuan ($435.00) per month, so many rely on kickbacks from drug sales, tests and procedures to supplement their income.


Doctors accused of taking drug kickbacks By Quan Li (
Updated: 2011-06-10 17:18 ... 674858.htm

A bribery scandal involving over a hundred doctors in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, has been urged for investigation, news agency reported on Friday.

According to another report carried by Legal Daily, a blogger named wzkldd exposed the scandal online Wednesday, alleged that 134 doctors from two first-class hospitals in Wenzhou have received more than $42,000 of kickbacks from a pharmaceutical company, in March alone. In return, the doctors prescribed the company's injection products for patients, the blogger said.

The whistleblower also provided the names and departments of the doctors and the amount of their prescriptions and kickbacks.

The Ministry of Health has asked the Zhejiang provincial health bureau to look into the case and, dependent on the results of the investigation, take disciplinary actions as required, the news agency reported.