China's barefoot doctor: past, present, and future

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Zhang, D., & Unschuld , P. U. (2008, November 29). China’s barefoot doctor: past, present, and future. Retrieved June 15, 2020, from


China's long struggle with rural coverage for health care goes back to the early part of the 20th century. However, these early efforts were seen at that time as unsuccessful. 1 Although the Government tried to draft private practitioners into the rural medical service corps, 2 delivery of health care was still scarce after 1949. Health-care expenditure for 8·3 million urban citizens covered by the state was more than that for 500 million peasants in 1964. 3 After Mao Zedong criticised the urban bias of medical services and pointed out the stress placed on rural areas in 1965, 4 mobile teams of doctors from urban hospitals were sent to deliver health care and train indigenous paramedics.