Health Care during the Mao era

August 14, 2012

After the Chinese Communists (CCP) won the Civil war in 1949, health care improved in China. Prior to that, life expectancy for the average Chinese was thirty-five years. By Mao’s death in 1976, average life expectancy had increased by twenty years so the program worked.

In fact, the CCP was the first government in China’s history to set goals and plans to help its people living in poverty improve the quality of their lifestyles.  For example, soon after Mao Zedong’s healthcare speech in 1965, the concept of the barefoot doctor (with basic paramedical training) was developed. By 1968, the barefoot doctors program was a national policy.

The barefoot doctor program came to an end in 1981 with the end of the commune system of agricultural cooperatives. However, two-thirds of rural village doctors currently practicing in China were first trained as barefoot doctors

Under the barefot doctor program, there were three basic areas of medical care. Free substandard medical care was provided to the proletarian working class, meaning workers and peasants.

This program was the backbone of rural-health care in China, and anyone could become a barefoot doctor.

Mao told the people that if you wanted to be a doctor, you didn’t need to go to medical school. All you had to do was have the motivation to provide medical care to needy people and the government would support you and provide limited training.

The second class of medical care went to people like teachers, clerks and secretaries, ‘friends’ of the working class, the proletariat. The only difference was that the ‘friends’ had to pay to get medical treatment. It was possible to face financial ruin from one hospital stay.

The third class were considered enemies of the proletariat like former shop-owners, landlords and denounced intellectuals like liberal arts professors. These people were denied health care treatment altogether.

Then, between 1981 and 2003, the health care system in China was privatized, which meant people had to pay before treatment or no treatment. This changed in 2003, when the CCP launched a new cooperative medical system operated and funded by the government with copay of 10 Renminbi per year for each person covered by the program.

Discover China’s Urban Rural Divide

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This revised and edited post first appeared February 27, 2010

 

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Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 6/8

November 16, 2011

World Life Expectancy.com (WLE) shows that in one decade between 1960 and 70 (Mao did not die until 1976), life expectancy in Indonesia was 47.9, India 49.3 and China 61.7.

Did you do the math and see the results of Mao’s policies regardless of the suffering during the Great Leap Forward (GLF) and the Cultural Revolution?  From 1960 to 1970, China added 25.4 years to life expectancy while Indonesia only added 6.4 years (six “point” four in case you missed the dot) and India seven years.

Then by 1980, Indonesia was 54.8, India 55.7 and China 65.5.

In 1990, Indonesia was 61.7, India 59.7 and China 68.3.

In 2000, Indonesia was 67.5, India 62.5, and China 71.4

In 2010, Indonesia was 71.1, India 66.5 and China 74.5

NCBI.gov (the US National Institute of Health) says, “Since the establishment of a new social order in 1949, China’s attempts to feed and nurture its large population has been a topic of serious study in many disciplines… In 1949, the life expectancy in China was only 36 years. In early 1980s, it has increased to 68 years.”

Since the NCBI says life expectancy in 1949 was 36 years and in 1960, it was 36.3 years (according to WLE), it is safe to say that the mortality rate in China in 1960 was still closer to 38 per 1000 and not 10 per 1000 as Frank Dikotter, the author of “Mao’s Great Famine” claims.

This increase in life expectancy is attributed mostly to improved nutrition and lowering of mortality rates due to decreases in infectious diseases. In fact, during the most dramatic gains in life expectancy, Mao ruled China (1949 – 1976).

Overwhelming facts from reliable sources show that Mao’s policies increased life expectancy and decreased mortality rates during the era he ruled, which included the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

That does not mean suffering did not take place but it does prove that even during hard times, life expectancy in China improved dramatically while mortality rates dropped.


 mentions the British caused famines in India/Ireland and who really managed the Great Leap Forward in China
This video makes a case that only three million may have died from the famine.

After reading Lu and Chen’s figures, which were supported by Judith Banister’s work, China’s Changing Population (Stanford University Press – 1987), along with facts from the WLE and NCBI.gov, I sat down with my wife, who as a child grew up in Shanghai during the GLF, and lived with the hunger but only remembers hearing of a few people that died of starvation in rural China and never saw anyone starving to death in Shanghai.

Continued on November 17, 2011 in Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 7 or return to Part 5

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Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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The Democracy Risk

August 3, 2011

That “old” friend of mine, the neoconservative, evangelical Christian libertarian (NEO-ECL), sent me an e-mail with a link to a post by Mark J. Perry on Carpe Diem.

NEO-ECL is a man of few words.  His average e-mail is usually a one-line opinionated statement with a link to another opinion as support. This e-mail was no different.  NEO-ECL wrote, “Imagine how much better we’d do if the U.S. did what Chili did.”

I clicked on the link to Mark Perry’s post and read it.  Perry’s conclusion, “The ‘Chilean economic miracle’ demonstrates that free market capitalism and free trade are the best paths to prosperity and a long life.”

Perry based this theory on the fact that Chileans increased life expectancy from 57 to 78.7 years in half a century after signing free trade agreements with more than 50 countries around the world.”

Any fool can take numbers and use them to fit any foolish theory.  To prove my point, I am going to offer a foolish theory too.

I asked NEO-ECL to explain why Greece, which is a country that is financially on the rocks, has a life expectancy of 79.5. I also threw in China. Under Socialist Maoism between 1949 and 1976, life expectancy in China went from 35 to 64.3 and by the time China threw open its doors to capitalism that number was above 66 and has continued to climb steadily to where it is today at about 73.

Under Maoism, life expectancy in China improved 84%. However, under capitalism with its influx of fast food and the American middle class lifestyle (McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC, etc), life expectancy only improved 13.5%.

And what about crime? If we look at INTERPOL data for Chile, we soon discover that between 1998 and 2000, crime increased dramatically after Chili became a multi party participatory democracy.

The murder rate increased by 39.3%, rape by 13.9%, robbery by 53.6%, burglary by 16.5% and larceny by 30,771.4%.

In conclusion, in a democracy such as the United States we are protected from persecution by our government due to our First Amendment freedom of expression rights but have a much higher risk of being a victim of private sector crime such as larceny.

In fact, for each of these crimes, the rates were higher in America and the US has the largest prison population in the world and brought us the 2008 global financial crises leading to more than $40 trillion in global losses.

Usually, I provide links to all the data I use to support my opinions. However, since Mark J. Perry only had one link in his post to support his opinion, that is all I will provide. But, if anyone searches for the facts to see if what I used is real, I’m not worried.

Discover Dictatorship Defined

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


China’s Health Care During Mao’s Time

February 27, 2010

After the Communists won China in 1949, health care improved. Prior to that, life expectancy for the Chinese people was thirty-five years. By Mao’s death in 1976, average life expectancy had increased by twenty years.

There were three basic areas of medical care. Free substandard medical care was provided to the proletarian working class, meaning workers and peasants.

Mao started a program called ‘bare-foot doctors’. This program was the backbone of rural health care in China. This meant anyone could become a doctor.

  • Video: Documentary of Bare-Foot Doctors in China

Mao told the people that if you wanted to be a doctor, you didn’t need to go to medical school. All you had to do was have the motivation to provide medical care to needy people and the government would support you and provide limited training.

The second class of medical care went to people like teachers, clerks and secretaries, ‘friends’ of the working class, the proletariat. The only difference was that these ‘friends’ had to pay to get medical treatment. It was possible to face financial ruin from one hospital stay.

The third class were termed enemies of the proletariat like former shop-owners, landlords and denounced intellectuals like liberal arts professors. These people were denied treatment altogether.

Learn about China’s Urban Rural Divide

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.