This is an interesting article, especially considering it is posted from a mainstream press outlet. It is sad that the present day country of
has let its once impressive health care system go to crap. - សតិវអតុ China
From Chicago Tribune:
Though in recent years his achievements have been maligned, in reality, Mao Tse-tung, the former of
, did much for his country. China
Not the least of his accomplishments was the establishment of a universal health-care system that his successors let collapse.
The resulting lack of adequate medical facilities in many parts of
has fostered the spread of
SARS, creating a global . China
After Mao's death, the change in Chinese health-care policy was dramatic. When Mao died in 1976, more than 90 percent of
rural population was eligible for community-based health insurance and health
care. By 1989, only 11 percent of the Chinese countryside had health insurance.
Today even wealthy rural dwellers often have to seek medical care from shamans
and soothsayers, who offer little protection against serious diseases like
severe acute respiratory syndrome. China
Some city workers now also have trouble getting adequate medical treatment, in spite of the fact that in the last 25 years medical facilities in
big cities have improved markedly. Under Mao, urban state workers were eligible
for subsidized health care. As industries have been privatized, many workers
lost these benefits and can no longer afford access to overworked city doctors
who still cater to the poor. China
But it is in the countryside where SARS began. Under Mao, the local peasant community was responsible for health care. Mao's successors allowed local governments to relinquish their financial and political responsibilities for the well-being of their citizens. The resulting disintegration of the country's medical infrastructure has allowed not just SARS, but also AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases to expand into rural areas.
It wasn't always this way. During Mao's Great Leap Forward (1958-60), most localities established communal level health stations. Rural workers were trained to administer rudimentary medical treatment, supervise the improvement of sanitary measures, educate their communities about family planning techniques and promote preventive medicine. These workers, who became known as barefoot doctors, ministered to the basic health needs of the local population.
For the rest click here.