Innovative Doctor Brutally Assaulted
By William Faloon
Life Extension, July 2007
Dr. Hu Weimin is a Chinese internist who thought it absurd that patients admitted to the hospital were told they had to purchase lots of expensive prescription drugs in order to live. Dr. Hu was convinced that life-style changes would not only prevent disease, but also reverse many of the chronic illnesses that were plaguing his community.
As word of Dr. Hu's success spread, he attracted a huge following of people who changed their lifestyles by reducing their high intake of greasy fats and salt, stopping smoking, and exercising more. As thousands followed Dr. Hu's advice, the community hospital where he worked lost a small fortune in profits, because not enough people were getting sick.
While his preventive medicine crusade gained him national recognition in China, he endured brutal hardships at the hands of the local medical establishment, who viewed him as a threat to their prescription-drug money machine.
Dr. Hu initiated his preventive health campaign by asking the hospital where he worked for a room to present seminars on hypertension. The hospital refused to free up the space, but agreed to allow him to hold his seminars in the dank coal shed out back. For two years, his free "coal shed seminars" attracted constant traffic, but then the trouble started.
As more people learned how to prevent disease, fellow physicians saw their patient numbers falling, and the hospital saw decreased revenues.
In retaliation for the lost profits caused by his education campaign, Dr. Hu endured a series of attacks from the medical establishment. The sign advertising his clinic was repeatedly ripped down and smashed. The hospital director sought to remove him from medical practice. When that failed, Dr. Hu was banned from the hospital wards, meaning that he could only do outpatient work, which in China means that he was virtually sidelined.
Most disturbing was the beating he took at the hands of his supervisor (the Deputy Director of Internal Medicine). Dr. Hu was kicked in the groin, hospitalized for his injury, and rendered impotent.
Physically beaten and shunned by fellow physicians who blamed him for their declining revenues, Dr. Hu Weimin became an outcast, and had no choice other than to resign.
The thought of Dr. Hu not being available did not sit well with the patients he had helped, who rallied with a 3,000-name petition protesting the hospital's prejudicial actions and begging him to continue practicing medicine.
Investigative pieces detailing his persecution at the hands of the medical establishment began appearing in prominent state-run newspapers, as the Chinese government itself was bearing the outrage from citizens whose life savings were being plundered by overpriced prescription drugs and other hospital costs.
As favorable publicity about Dr. Hu's humanitarian efforts continued to intensify, the hospital director who had tried to run him out of medical practice was removed by the local government. Dr. Hu got his office back at the same hospital that sought to destroy him, though he is not allowed to practice in the wards.
The sign above his door now reads, "Prevention and Cure Office for Blood Vessel of Heart and Brain." During weekdays, it is standing room only for the hypertension sufferers who swarm to listen to Dr. Hu's practical disease-prevention recommendations.
Through his free website, he manages some 7,000 patients and runs a hypertension support group with 50,000 members, though hackers often break through in an effort to censor his dissemination of information that reduces the need for hospitals and drugs.