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Opinion
Adam Minter

Why Quacks Are Thriving in China

Cutbacks mean there aren't enough clinics and qualified doctors to go around.
Patients turn to dodgy private hospitals for lack of options.

Patients turn to dodgy private hospitals for lack of options.

Source: STR/AFP/Getty Images

There are more than 10,000 private hospitals in China, and their numbers -- and revenues -- are growing every year. Yet they’re also among the least trusted institutions in China, widely assumed to be dens of quackery, malpractice and shameless profiteering.

So why do patients flock to them? One reason is that China’s top search engine, Baidu, accepts their advertising.