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Chinas Healthcare: from Barefoot Doctors to Current Health System - Research Paper Example

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The objective of this research is to summarize how the healthcare approach in China has changed throughout its history. Specifically, the present paper "China’s Healthcare: from Barefoot Doctors to Current Health System" will examine the role of barefoot doctor program…
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Chinas Healthcare: from Barefoot Doctors to Current Health System
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Download file to see previous pages The great philosopher Confucius taught also that this harmony should be carried on in society: “For a Confucian, the meaning of life can be realized only in learning and practice through self-cultivation and self-transformation, in committing oneself to the welfare of the family, community, and society.”3 Confucius taught that the family unit should look after itself, with parents caring for their children and notably also, children taking care of the health and welfare of their aging parents.4
When the People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949 the population was mostly rural and poor, with a life expectancy at birth as low as 37 years and infant mortality of about 250 per 1,000 live births.5 Levels of literacy were low, and transport networks were very inefficient, leaving rural communities to fend for themselves as best they could without any proper healthcare at all. The communist government organized a number of central plans, and the first one, called the Five Year Plan, was started in 1950. The needs of the poorer people were very obvious, and healthcare was a key element in this plan. Four key principles were agreed for the foundation of healthcare in the second half of the twentieth century: “(i) health care should be provided to workers, farmers and soldiers by publicly owned and financed health services; (ii) health services would ‘walk on two legs’, that is, combine traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine; (iii) give priority to public health, with emphasis on the prevention of communicable and infectious diseases and mother and child care; (iv) combine health care with mass health campaigns…”6 Progress towards these objectives was slow in the early years of the new People’s Republic and was hampered by factors like the huge distances involved, lack of funds, and low levels of education.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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