A career as an official was a double-edged sword. China had a heavy social standard for officials. Officials stood at the top of the pyramid, and they could do anything with power.
However, Su Tao couldn’t be bothered about it because it would affect his freedom.
Vice-Premier Xiao had a sharp eye and he naturally saw through Su Tao’s worries.
Standing up on his seat, Vice-Premier Xiao walked over to the window and sighed, “A few decades ago, my dream was to be an agricultural scientist. At that time, I was involved with technological research. If it wasn’t for a sudden turnaround of fate, I might’ve become the top expert in China on hybrid rice cultivation.”
Su Tao also stood up and walked over to Vice-Premier Xiao, “Vice-Premier, your current position is more important than that.”
Waving his hand, Vice-Premier Xiao smiled, “I may be more powerful right now, but I can leave my name behind in human history. As a politician, I will gradually be forgotten over time. But no one will forget the person who benefited mankind. If I’m not wrong, you must be someone who’s aiming to do it.”
Su Tao was slightly startled that he got seen through. With a smile, he replied, “As a doctor, I naturally want my name to be left behind in history like Hua Tuo, Bian Que, and Sun Simiao.”
Nodding his head, Vice-Premier Xiao replied, “But times are different. If you want to do that, you will need corresponding social status and power. You know well that the power of an individual is limited. China’s current issue in the medical industry cannot be solved by treating illnesses, but solving the problem from the roots. Many people can’t afford to see a doctor and those who want their illnesses healed quickly will go for western medicine. This is the reason why TCM is in a disadvantageous position. So if you want to change this trend, you will first have to change people’s living environment in order to achieve the goal of revitalizing TCM.”
Su Tao was briefly stunned. Vice-Premier Xiao had set an angle at a high position, giving him a sudden enlightenment.
What Vice-Premier Xiao said was equivalent to treating the country. With respect on his face, Su Tao replied, “Your words have touched me.”
“Life always changes in a way that you will never expect. Take my, for example. I was in the Agricultural Technology Station back then, but I slowly changed from a technical post to an administrative post. From there, I went into education and into the State Council. It didn’t go in the direction I wanted and the same goes to you. Many people have their eyes on you because of your potential. They can see their dreams being fulfilled in you. So although your dreams are important, you also have to take the dreams of others into consideration.”
“I understand what you’re trying to say.” Su Tao nodded his head.
With a smile on his face, Vice-Premier Xiao continued to persuade Su Tao, “Power comes with responsibility. There will be some tasks assigned to you. It will be challenging, but I believe that you will give me a perfect answer.”
“But the Three Flavour Hall is something left to me by my grandfather. I can’t give up on it.” Su Tao hesitated.
“Don’t worry about it. I will make arrangements for you to manage them both. You won’t be joining as an official but from another angle.” Vice-Premier Xiao smiled.
Su Tao had no idea what Vice-Premier Xiao wanted to do, but he still went along with it. Vice-Premier Xiao had already said it this far, so it would be rude for Su Tao to refuse.
In a nutshell, Vice-Premier Xiao will be making arrangements for Su Tao to appear as a civil servant and businessman at the same time. Then again, the tasks assigned to Su Tao would be related to the medical industry.
Now that Vice-Premier xiao had finished whatever he wanted to say to Su Tao, he allowed Su Tao to leave and continued his meeting with the other officials.
When Mr. Xue sent Su Tao down, he smiled, “There will be new tasks assigned to you in half a month from now.”
Mr. Xue did not beat around the bush with Su Tao and came out frankly.
Su Tao fell into pondering. He could tell that Mr. Xue was trying to reveal the content to him and asked with a smile, “I only have a rough idea of what the Vice-Premier is talking about. May I know the specifics?”
Guiding Su Tao to the corner of the hall, Mr. Xue began to explain, “It’s mainly to promote medical reformation. Not long ago, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and National Health and Family Planning Commission drew up a reformation plan for state-owned businesses. Thousands of hospitals will be affected. In short, state-owned hospitals will be removed and become history.”
“You’re saying that I will participate in this project?” Su Tao came to a sudden realization.
That was truly a half-official and half-commercial task. It involved politics in a commercial form. While Su Tao felt relieved upon hearing it, this task also aroused his interest.
“At present, the State Council has arranged for a number of medical groups to participate in the acquisition. But judging from the initial progress, the effect isn’t that great. It’s mostly because most state-owned hospitals are in a mess. They should be handed over to the local government, but the local government already has their hands tight managing public hospitals. So it will be a bottomless pit if they accept them. So even if the local government accepts the plan, state-owned hospitals will be more like an ‘adopted child’. Not only will it become the focus for local government’s construction, but there’s also a possibility of it being abandoned. So we’re thinking that bringing in private capital might bring good results to this matter.” Mr. Xue nodded.
Su Tao had a feeling that it would be a difficult task, but at the same time, it would also be an opportunity to develop his career.
The Three Flavour Hall lacked talents and venue. So if Su Tao could resolve this matter from state-owned hospitals, he would be able to resolve the issue of venue.
Although the vast majority of state-owned hospitals were making a loss to meet ends, doctors were also a sacred resource. But things might change if the Three Flavour Hall could invest in those hospitals.
So Su Tao was impressed by Vice-Premier Xiao’s vision when he thought about it. He had already figured out the pros and cons in this matter.
Then again, the acquisition of those hospitals also required huge funds. The Three Flavour Hall might be making profits now, but it was undeniable that they still lacked the funds to go into this field. Su Tao suddenly thought about what Ni Jingqiu told him that the Ni and Ye Families wanted to invest USD$3,000,000,000. There was no way TCM education could use up such a huge fund. But using it in those hospitals would be a good idea.
After being reminded by Mr. Xue, Su Tao felt inwardly relieved. They weren’t asking him to go into the government system, but participate in the reformation of the medical industry. Although it was also connected to the government system, he would still have his freedom without any official post.
Most importantly, Su Tao would have Vice-Premier Xiao backing him up in this matter. That means that he would be granted an imperial sword on the implementation of this plan.
Then again, he could also tell that Vice-Premier Xiao has been encountering obstructions trying to get this matter done. Many people’s profits were involved in this matter. Although most state-owned hospitals were losing money, some of them were also operating well. So the interest of some would be affected to hand those hospitals over. That also means that there was no way those state-owned hospitals would cooperate.
Furthermore, some hospitals have been losing money, which involved some people’s interest trying to turn those state-owned assets into their private warehouse. So Su Tao would foresee himself encountering obstacles trying to touch their interest.
“The Vice-Premier is putting me on the fire this time.” Su Tao sighed.
“He’s using you as a surprise chess piece.” Mr. Xue smiled.
Su Tao knew what Mr. Xue meant. If Su Tao joined into the reformation of those hospitals, it would be more concealed since the Three Flavour Hall had no traces of being a state-owned asset. So they could join the competition in the form of private capital to learn more about the real side of hospital reformations.
Vice-Premier Xiao did not state how many hospitals he wanted the Three Flavour Hall to acquire. He just wanted to know more about the inside information. Then again, this would also be a test for Su Tao.
Watching Su Tao leaving, Mr. Xue returned to the room and waited for half an hour. Vice-Premier Xiao walked in after he ended his meeting.
When Vice-Premier Xiao walked in, he spoke out indifferently, “I just understood how difficult it would be to implement the reformation.”
Mr. Xue prepared a cup of water for Vice-Premier Xiao and covered the lid, “It mainly involved too many people’s interest. Isn’t it too harsh on Su Tao to pull him into this mess?”
Shaking his head, Vice-Premier Xiao replied, “He has the support of the Shui, Ni, and Ye Families. So it will be fine as long as he steady himself. We must pull a new party into the medical industry or it will be too stagnant.”
“I will get someone to follow up on this matter.” Mr. Xue nodded.
“The sooner the better.” Vice-Premier Xiao instructed. After all, there was only one year left before the scheduled time. So there wasn’t much time left. If the reformation wasn’t put in place, it would affect the country’s overall development.
This was also an assessment of Vice-Premier Xiao’s performance during his tenure.
At someone of his level, the sword hanging on his head not only brought him pressure from the leaders, but he also had to be responsible for the country and society.Previous Chapter Next Chapter