A Case Study

Shanghai likes to play by its own rules. But the city's unilateralist approach to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) puzzles a senior hospital administrator from Shanghai's Huangpu district. A month ago, visiting experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) said Shanghai would relax its superstringent standards for diagnosing suspected SARS patients to conform with international norms. That should have caused the city's tiny caseload of suspected SARS patients to increase substantially. But just a couple of days after the WHO's announcement, the hospital administrator was curtly informed by local health-bureau officials that the standards would not be changed. Then, last week,...

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