To us, the Ja­panese peo­ple are not the same as the Ja­panese in­vaders.We hate the in­vaders, and that will neve change. But we also re­spect the Ja­panese peo­ple and made friends with those who worked with us.”

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE -

of physi­cians sub­se­quently trained at the hos­pi­tal and joined Bethune’s res­cue team. A great in­ter­na­tion­al­ist

Bethune’s pe­riod of ac­tiv­ity was short-lived, how­ever. In 1939, he con­tracted a skin in­fec­tion from a wounded soldier and died of sep­ticemia a short time later in Tangx­ian county, He­bei. In 1940, the Model Hos­pi­tal was re­named The Bethune In­ter­na­tional Peace Hos­pi­tal to com­mem­o­rate the Cana­dian as a great in­ter­na­tion­al­ist.

The hos­pi­tal records show that more than 11 mil­lion wounded sol­diers were treated dur­ing the eight years of war, and 1,500 doc­tors were trained at the es­tab­lish­ment.

“The duty of a doc­tor is to help pa­tients in their fight back to health and strength.” That quote from Bethune is dis­played on the walls at the Bethune Me­mo­rial House, which was opened in 1975 and stands in the grounds of the hos­pi­tal. Those words of­ten inspired Liu, who al­ways tried to pro­vide his pa­tients with the best pos­si­ble treat­ment.

“I sur­vived the war, and I know how Bethune fought to save our wounded sol­diers.” he said, adding that he and many of his col­leagues re­vere Bethune’s mem­ory and have de­voted them­selves to pass­ing his teach­ings onto the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Now 85, Liu spent 50 years treat­ing pa­tients with eye con­di­tions and has helped tens of thou­sands to re­gain their sight. Although he of­fi­cially re­tired in 1994, he regularly vis­its lo­cal hos­pi­tals in He­bei as a vol­un­teer to train young oph­thal­mol­o­gists. This year he made an emo­tional re­turn to the Peace Hos­pi­tal, where he treated pa­tients but didn’t charge them or the hos­pi­tal for his ser­vices.

“Some­times I even ap­ply to the hos­pi­tal on be­half of my pa­tients so they can en­joy free treat­ment. Some are too poor to cover the med­i­cal ex­penses, and I am al­ways sad when I dis­cover that peo­ple have been forced to sell their be­long­ings to pay for treat­ment,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to one of his for­mer col­leagues, Liu once ex­plained that the oph­thalmic depart­ment charged the low­est fees in the hos­pi­tal, not be­cause it re­ceived fewer pa­tients, but be­cause the team had ad­hered to his dic­tum of sav­ing the pa­tients’ money when­ever pos­si­ble. The staff re­mem­ber how the vet­eran physi­cian once told his col­leagues: “If you can charge 1 yuan, don’t charge 2 or more; if you can treat pa­tients with­out charg­ing, then just do your doc­tor’s duty for free.”

Fol­low­ing in Bethune’s foot­steps, the hos­pi­tal treats pa­tients free of charge, and in 2012 it ini­ti­ated a pro­gram of an­nual free vis­its to war vet­er­ans and cash-strapped ru­ral res­i­dents.

At the end of May, the hos­pi­tal co­op­er­ated with a team of Cana­dian oph­thal­mol­o­gists to pro­vide free eye ex­am­i­na­tions for res­i­dents of the ar­eas around the old rev­o­lu­tion­ary base. In 1974, it be­came the first PLA hos­pi­tal to ad­mit for­eign­ers, and since then nearly 30,000 peo­ple from more than 80 coun­tries have vis­ited the hos­pi­tal and the me­mo­rial house. At present, the hos­pi­tal boasts more than 2,000 beds, pro­vides more than 1.05 mil­lion out­pa­tient con­sul­ta­tions, and treats 51,000 in­pa­tients ev­ery year.

Hos­pi­tal of­fi­cial Liu Huibin praised the com­mit­ment of the med­i­cal staff through­out the hos­pi­tal’s history: “The wartime Bethune has left us, but we now have many Bethunes at the hos­pi­tal. Liu Shiyue is typ­i­cal of the type. His loy­alty and ded­i­ca­tion to the pa­tients al­ways im­pressed his col­leagues.”

For Liu Shiyue, the virtues upon which the hos­pi­tal was founded will live for­ever: “The soul of Nor­man Bethune will never die be­cause it lives in ev­ery gen­er­a­tion of med­i­cal work­ers at the hos­pi­tal he helped to found.” Con­tact the writer at zhangyu1@chi­


Liu Shiyue and his wife Fu Huimei. Fu, who was born and raised in Ja­pan,moved to China dur­ing the Ja­panese oc­cu­pa­tion. She be­came a bridge be­tween Liu and his Ja­panese col­leagues.

Liu Shiyue,

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