China: Does the government still concern about the “kidney stone babies”?

The coverage of the tainted milk scandal in China has been gradually faded away from the mass media with the bankruptcy of Sanlu company. In December 2008, the Chinese government comes up with an initial compensation plan, however, to some victims’ disappointment. And according to Hong Kong's newspapers’ report (Mingpao), some parents put forward their proposal in early January, 2009 were detained from voicing out.

Government compensation plan

Local news (via sina) reported that the total compensation amount will be around RMB 4 billion (USD 0.6 billion) shared by the government and 22 other corporates. The government's share (RMB 2.6 billion) will be allocated directly to the hospitals for paying the bill for the victims. The compensation for the death caused by melamine claim is up to RMB200,000 (USD30,000), for serious kidney disease victims, it is RMB30,000 (USD3,000). As for minor illness the victims receive RMB2,000 (USD300) subsidy. A health fund (RMB 0.2 Billion) was set up to help victims for their future hospital treatment. Some parents, especially those getting the RMB2000 offer, refused to sign the compensation agreement.

Some bloggers joined in the discussion, for example, Wuhangmin criticized:


Some people had pointed out the unjust compensation for the tainted milk case: there was no representative for the victim and the amount for compensation was unreasonably low. Moreover, the consequence of signing the compensation plan is unclear. For instance, does free medical treatment apply to those “kidney stone babies”? How many “kidney stone babies” can benefit from the policy? Why did so many media mention that the victims were paying for their babies’ medical treatment all these time? Is there a regulation or foundation set up by the central government to finance the medical fee? If so, how to apply for the funding? How come some parents had paid 50,000 RMB for medical fee?

Mu mian 7 suspected that the Chinese government is deliberately slowing down the process:

政府不是信誓旦旦的表态吗,现在呢?怎么都没反应。他们只会拖延时间 ,让民众遗忘这件事,达到最后不了了知的结局,政府和企业皆大欢喜,民众只能偷偷地流眼泪!!!

Hasn’t the government vowed to support (the victims)? How about now? There are no further measure to help. They are prolonging the schedule so that people are slowly forgetting the issue. Eventually a no one known result can be obtained and both government and enterprises celebrate, while the poor people sob in silence!!!

Liu Changfeng, another Chinese blogger added a legal dimension to the discussion:


The government and related department had made a prompt agreement for the compensation. Although this showed the satisfactory sincerity towards the victims, the compensation standard was far below people’s expectation. Obviously the government wanted to implement the compensation quickly to eliminate the negative impacts in the first place. Nevertheless, this action was hard to convince the public. On one hand, even from the views of outsiders and the existing economic environment, the compensation standard was much less than it should have. Can the compensation standard be justified? But the public cannot have the channel to question the plan. On the other hand, the judicial decision only affirmed the criminal nature of the incident but made no words on the compensation of the victims. In the end, the compensation plan came from the administrative government officials but not from the judicial body. Which body is in position to make the ultimate decision? Judicial or administrative body? The public doubted whether if the administrative decision could replace the judicial judgment.

Up till now, there are around 290 thousands children developed symptom related with melamine poisoning. 51.9 thousands have entered hospital and 154 of them are suffered from serious kidney disease and 11 of them have died.


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