Well, I haven't gone yet, but a surprising number of my friends urged me to go to the hospital yesterday. It seems the Wolf Mary was not as trustworthy a steed as she at first appeared, and after a serious technological failure, I, and my sack of groceries, were thrown over the handlebars and somersaulting through the air. Yippee.
But what is remarkable is the readiness in which the word Hospital came out of their mouths. I've done this sort of thing before (twice in fact, both times featuring more blood), but never in America has anyone blurted out "hey! you should go to the Hospital!" Perhaps I am just in a "In America, we ..." state of mind, but I am drawn to the comparison because the willingness to go to a doctor has significant influence over the quality of one's health care, and I cannot help but wonder to what extent an entire generation of Americans has been subtly taught that health care is outside of their reach.
While I'm almost certain my ankle is just sprained, I don't know, and can't know until a doctor looks at it. And since seeing a doctor here costs all of 3kuai (less than 50cents), there's absolutely no need to. In the U.S., I could pay a couple hundred at the hospital (yes, with insurance), or save money by making an appointment with my primary care physician. Of course I'd have to wait a week.