Headline News


Medical care reform: making it easier to see a doctor

Source: Xinhua | 12-25-2008 17:35

BEIJING, Dec. 25 (Xinhua) -- Going to see the doctor was too expensive for 54-year-old Chinese peasant Song Zhiyao, but the introduction of a rural cooperative medicine scheme in 2007 has greatly eased his financial burden.

A new public-health reform under review might give even more help to Song and millions of other Chinese citizens who have borne their own medical bills for as long as two decades.


Song has lived in Xijiang Village, Kaili City, of southwest China's Guizhou Province for half a century, and misses the days of barefoot doctors before the 1980s.

"The villagers only paid a little money for the medical service at the doctor's small clinic, as the costs were basically covered by the state," he says. Although the young doctor could only handle injections or minor illnesses like coughs, Song was largely satisfied.

It was a time when China prided itself on a government sponsored medicine system, in which most Chinese enjoyed low-priced medical services.