On the day Hayato Ueda arrived, Yun Hua Hospital hung out the brochure which they had long prepared: Specialist Consultant from Keio University, Japan.
Using the name of the famous Keio University, the registration for Pan Hua and Hayato Ueda's combined outpatient consultation was clogged up within ten minutes. The numbers went up to thirty, and because of it, they had to announce that the outpatient consultation would be extended until the afternoon. Then, the incoming scalpers raised the price up to 500 RMB in one go, and the number was lined up to another thirty.
If the price went up any higher, patients would rather go to Beijing and see a doctor in Shanghai.
Department Associate Director Pan was pleased with this change.
In many doctors' point of view, a specialist being paid 11 RMB for each consultation was similar to a disservice. If there were more than thirty consultations in one day and someone unreasonable showed up, or if someone caused a scene in trying to get a reimbursement, 11 RMB per consultation was a plain insult.
The 500 RMB pricing given to Department Associate Director Pan by the scalpers inevitably came as great pleasure.
Department Associate Director Pan believed that a consultation fee of 15,000 RMB in the afternoon was well-founded compensation for his delayed lunch and skipped dinner. Of course, he still earned only 3.03 RMB for each patient consulted, and he even had to equally divide the fee equally with Hayato Ueda. However, respect was an irreplaceable fee.
None of the patients who were willing to spend 500 RMB to see a doctor would be unreasonable. Some of them might carry only mild ailments. Most of them were patients who required the expertise Pan Hua had accumulated over twenty years…
Pan Hua gave all of them great care and attention.
In truth, he could not solve each patient's problem. Many patients could only be directed to specialized departments, which meant that Pan Hua could not provide a useful diagnosis. This left Pan Hua, who had never ever conducted consultations worth 500 RMB, at slight unease.
Nevertheless, those patients still left while thanking them profusely. None of them ever requested for reimbursements.
"There's a benefit to the scalpers' tickets," Pan Hua said to Hayato Ueda in Japanese, "At least they can't come to me for reimbursement."
Hayato Ueda did not understand Pan Hua's point, he simply said, "Why would they want reimbursements?"
Pan Hua was stunned for a moment and said, "Generally… they think that doctors have to give useful solutions before they are qualified to receive consultation fees, especially so when the scalpers charge them so much for the tickets."
"Doctors are not gods. Besides, even when people pray, they don't take back their tributes just because their prayers were not answered."
Hayato Ueda then quickly apologized and said, "Sorry, I said something selfish."
"Nevermind. It just means that you're rather easygoing." Pan Hua complimented Hayato, just like he did when he was in Japan before he continued with his consultation.
The scope of their consultation was not limited to flexor tendon injuries, but also included other fields within hand and foot surgeries.
Doctors could not just take into account their own specialty when they took in outpatients; they also had to take into account the condition of their department and their treatment groups. The most fundamental consideration was whether they could cure the illness or injury, and this was the most common of variables in primary hospitals. If they could not detect the disease, they would ask the patients to head to a large hospital for checkups, or take them in before they were transferred. Secondly, they had to consider if the treatment they offered was the best option offered in their department. When Pan Hua was not around, the M-Tang technique had not been the mainstream surgical procedure used in Yun Hua Hospital. Those who required this particular technique would usually not be taken into the Hand Surgery Department.
Finally, they had to consider the department's holding capacity. This was a common shortage in top hospitals. Ordinary patients could only be admitted to a top hospital when they had a disease that was considered troublesome to their local hospitals. Otherwise, the hospital had to make use of their available space frugally.
During the months Pan Hua went for his in-service training, his treatment group had almost been starved to death. Right then, it was only natural for him to take in a large number of patients.
Hayato Ueda felt a little guilty. He looked at the number, which was now more than twenty. After twelve people were admitted to the hospital, he whispered to Pan Hua in Japanese, "There are too many patients. We can't do it."
"If you cannot bear the sight, we can transfer them to other groups. We can treat it as us strengthening our relationship with the other groups," Pan Hua put his words in a way that Hayato Ueda could understand.
Hayato Ueda made a sound showing that he understood, and he said, "So, hospitals in China can give out patients as gifts?"
"Your comprehension skills…" Pan Hua shook his head and said, "Let's get back to the topic, we can only have surgeries to do after we take in more patients today. This is the same for China and Japan."
"So, where do Doctor Ling Ran's patients come from? You know, the doctor we spoke of yesterday?" Hayato Ueda was still very concerned about this.
Pan Hua spoke, unconcerned, "Don't worry about him anymore for now. Ling Ran is a one-show pony. Although he has performed some surgeries, he is still very young. He won't be able to catch up to our total surgery count."
"He has completed at least one or two hundred surgeries using the M-Tang technique. It's a very high number even in Japan."
"Two hundred cases isn't much." Pan Hua laughed. He then said, "I have done hundreds of surgeries using the M-Tang technique in Japan in just a few months, and I did not publicize it as much. When I was in China, I also performed plenty of them. I think I did about dozens of cases. Moreover, it's not as if I specialize only in the M-Tang technique…"
"But if it's just flexor tendon injury surgeries…"
"Soon, we will perform at a rate where Ling Ran will not be able to reach, even if he works himself to death. The more operations we perform, the less he has to scavenge. It could not be helped. At some point, patients will also become resources," Pan Hua laughed and said, "If I have to say, we are doing this for Ling Ran, too. I heard that he only started doing more surgeries after knowing that I am about to come back. So, he should understand that when we come, he would have to stand aside. Therefore, it is no big deal claiming a slightly larger volume of surgery."
"Is that so?"
Pan Hua smiled gently and said to Hayato Ueda, "Professor Ueda, your goal in coming to China was to do surgeries. How many surgeries do you want to do? Two hundred cases? Three hundred cases?"
Hayato Ueda's cheeks became rosy, and he slowly said, "My goal is to do six hundred surgeries. My previous record was four hundred cases, if I can do another six hundred cases, my surgery count will have me become the fifth-ranking doctor among the doctors currently in-service in the Orthopedics Department…"
"Oh, do you want to complete six hundred cases in a year?"
"Huh? That's impossible."
Pan Hua laughed, "In China, as long as you want to do it, that's not a problem. You just need to do two cases a day."
"About that…" Hayato Ueda mumbled in Japanese. "There are only two hundred working days a year.
"If you count it that way…"
"We won't be able to perform surgeries on consultation days. There will also be inpatient consultation days and meeting days. If we calculate things in this manner, the days where we can perform surgeries can only be less than one hundred and fifty days." Hayato Ueda carefully calculated. "I will need to work overtime a lot more if I were to do one hundred and fifty days of surgeries."
"If you have to put it that way…" Pan Hua laughed again. "An average of four surgeries a day is really a little too much."
"Yeah. If you perform surgeries every day, two surgeries per day is a lot." Hayato Ueda forced himself to chuckle a few times and said, "I am going to complete my plan in three years."
Six hundred surgeries in three years meant that he only needed to complete two hundred surgeries per year.
Pan Hua smiled as he wrapped up the current consultation. Pan Hua could not help but recall his in-service training in Japan. He thought to himself, 'The Japanese are really too lazy. Although four surgeries per day is a bit too much, the average of three is not a problem. Two hundred surgeries a year is nothing.'
Another patient sat down and handed over his test results.
Pan Hua read the report as he spoke to Hayato Ueda in Japanese, "We have to do more surgeries. This is the last bout for Ling Ran to do several surgeries every day, there is a possibility that he has burnt out. However, even you will find it a waste, if you hand over all the surgeries to a young man, right?"
Hayato Ueda knew what Pan Hua meant. In fact, in Japanese hospitals, it was more common for surgeons to fight over surgeries.
This was primarily so for young doctors. They would spend a lot of time and effort just to practice their skills. Because of this, Hayato Ueda had come to Yun Hua to get a chance to perform surgeries.
Since there was a limited number of patients available, the more surgeries Pan Hua and Hayato Ueda did, the fewer surgeries Ling Ran would be left with.
Hence, no matter how many surgeries Ling Ran could do every day, it was meaningless.
But there was a possibility that Ling Ran had run himself to the ground because of this day, and was eagerly waiting for him to take over his surgeries.
"We can handpick our patients. We can do whatever surgeries that we like. Just leave the ones that we don't like to Ling Ran. I am the Hand Surgery Department's associate chief physician. No one will pick him first." Pan Hua added another sentence.
Hayato Ueda was happier after he heard this, because he had not received such a treatment when he was in Keio.
Hayato Ueda thought, 'If that is the case, I can adjust the difficulty of the surgeries myself. Not only can I accumulate enough surgeries; I can also improve my skills. It is not a fantasy for six hundred surgeries to be done within three years.'