IDS Bulletin 4.2-3

Health Services in China

Published on 1 March 1972

In the face of the adverse condition of overpopulation, limited resources and technological backwardness shared by the
developing nations, at least one country, the People’s Republic of China, is attempting to devise a health system which rejects Western standards of medical care and its inherent biases and is geared rather to meet the needs of the local population. This system relies on extensive and often intensive use of traditional practitioners, health teams and medical auxiliaries in an attempt to make health and medical care available to most of China’s 80% rural population. By focusing on training and deployment of medical and health personnel, the Chinese are seeking to avoid the burden of large investments in curative medicine accessible only to wealthy urban elites which plagues many other developing countries.

Publication details

Rifkin, Susan B.


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Research themes
Inequalities and Poverty

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