Public healthcare in China isn’t what you’d call a shining beacon of excellence. But if anyone can make working-life at a Beijing public hospital sound marginally exciting, it’s Dr Yu Ying.
Yu, billed China’s real-life answer to character Dr House from American television’s medical drama House and nicknamed “emergency room superwoman”, announced her resignation from the Peking Union Medical College Hospital last Tuesday, much to the disappointment of her fans.
The outspoken physician-turned-superstar microblogger has been sharing her life as a resident physician on her Sina Weibo account since 2011 and over the years, amassed more than two million followers.
Yu's witty, pun-filled Weibo posts which range from light-hearted wisecracks about hospital conditions to embarrassing anecdotes are forwarded thousands of times online.
Yu’s abrupt decision, however, drew widespread speculation that she had either left out of frustration from working at a public hospital or been sacked for exposing too many of its problems.
“In my ideal world, a public hospital would actually serve people in genuine need of medical help. Special medical privileges or private wards for senior officials would be stripped,” Yu once wrote in a Weibo post.
In an interview with the China Youth Daily, the 30-year-old GP said although she was resigning from the public hospital system, she would not end her career as a doctor. Yu said she would do more charity work, teach, or write a book.
Yu also said: "People want to see a hero to solve all the problems [of the healthcare system], but I am also just an ordinary person. If the healthcare system needs to be saved by an ordinary person, then this is in and of itself, very sad.
"I just want to have a good life with one future goal - to be happy."
Founded in 1921 by the Rockerfeller Foundation, the Peking Union Medical College Hospital is one of the country's most famous public hospitals.