The high price of illness in China – Louisa Lim

From the BBC (link):

Dr Liu Quan trudges 20km (12 miles) a day along Sichuan’s muddy mountain paths on his rounds.

A village doctor for the past 55 years, he was just 15 when he started practising as a third-generation herbalist.

In the 1970s he received simple training under Chairman Mao’s programme to send “barefoot doctors” to serve China’s rural masses…

“In Chairman Mao’s time, you could see a doctor whether you had money or not. We could carry out disease prevention, like injections, whether our patients had money or not. Nowadays only those with money can get injections,” he says.

Today the old system providing near-universal access to basic healthcare has been dismantled, as the government tries to spread the cost of providing healthcare to more than one billion people.

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