Iranian Journal of Public Health 2018. 47(1):1-8.

The Turning Point of China’s Rural Public Health during the Cultural Revolution Period: Barefoot Doctors: A Narrative Review Article
Youngsub LEE, Hyoungsup KIM

Abstract


Background: According to Mao Zedong’s orders, the Communist Party of China made efforts to perform the system of ‘barefoot doctors’ even during the political mayhem of the Cultural Revolution. This pioneering medical system made a great contribution to medical services for rural communities and the public health system from 1960s to 1970s. Attracting new attention in the beginning of the 21st century, the barefoot doctor system influenced the formation of the Chinese medical system of unique structure. 

Methods: Utilizing and analyzing the currently existing research outcomes on ‘barefoot doctors’, we investigated the two overlooked characteristics in the Chinese medical system originated from the barefoot doctor system; i) why the barefoot doctor system attracts new attention in the 21st century and ii) why and how Western and Chinese medicine could systematically be combined, which is the unique phenomenon in the world.

Results: The barefoot doctor system satisfied the Chinese government’s political aims and realistic request under the banner of Cultural Revolution simultaneously. In reality, this system gratified prevention-oriented modernized public health policy, reducing serious gap of medical services between cities and rural areas. Yet, this leading system was abolished in 1980s without timely use.

Conclusion: In the present, the barefoot doctor system is holding limelight again as a successful precedent to intensify preventive public health service all over China, especially for underdeveloped areas. Moreover, Chinese medicine-friendly stance to utilize ‘doctors of Chinese medicine’, absolute majority over those of Western medicine, created the uniqueness of integrative medicine.

 

 


Keywords


Barefoot doctor, Cultural revolution, Medical insurance scheme, Primary health care

Full Text:

PDF

References


Xu SC. The Medical System of Chinese Country Since Qing Dynasty: from Caozelingyi to Barefoot Doctor [Ph.D. thesis]. Nankai University, China; 2012.

Choi CH (2009). Changes of Chinese Health and Medicine by a viewpoint of Historical Process. HUFS Institute of Histo-ry and Culture, 33: 254-255.

Mao ZD (1990). The Statement of June 26, 1965, by Chairman Mao Zedong. In: Textbook of International Health. Ed. Basch P. Oxford University Press, New York, p. 231.

Zhang NN (2012). An Overview of Bare-foot Doctor. Theoretic Observation, 6: 31-32.

Li DC (2007). Review on the Study of the Barefoot Doctor. Chinese Primary Health Care, 21(1): 6-8.

Huang HK, Park WS, Kim SA et al (2011). Health care management in China. Seoul: Bomungak, Seoul, Korea, pp.: 142-154.

Xu SC. The Medical System of Chinese Country since Qing Dynasty: from Caozelingyi to Barefoot Doctor [Ph.D. thesis]. Nankai University, China; 2012, pp. 60-61.

Xia XZ (2003). An Historical Investigation of the Rural Cooperative Medical Care System. Contemporary China history Studies, 10(5): 111.

Xu SC. The Medical System of Chinese Country Since Qing Dynasty: from Caozelingyi to Barefoot Doctor [Ph.D. thesis]. Nankai University, China; 2012, pp. 119-124.

Moon KT. A Comparative Study on Health Care Reforms between Russia and China in Transition [Ph.D. thesis]. Soongsil University, Korea; 2010, pp. 80-82.

Zhang DQ, Wen SD (2008). China’s Bare-foot Doctor: Past, Present, and Future. In: China and Global Health in the 21st Centu-ry. Eds. Han QD, Chen ZH, Horton R et al. Peking University. Beijing China, pp. 98-99.

Xu SC. The Medical System of Chinese Country Since Qing Dynasty: from Caozelingyi to Barefoot Doctor [Ph.D. thesis]. Nankai University, China; 2012, p. 71.

Wataru I, Sawada Y (2014). Social Security Sys-tem and Medical Care in China: Changing society and increasing risks. (Lee YB Trans.) Hanwool, Paju, Korea, p. 53.

Li DC (2007). Review on the Study of the Barefoot Doctor. Chinese Primary Health Care, 21(1): 8.

Zhang KN, Wen YQ, Liang P (2002). From Barefoot Doctors to Country Doctors. Yun-nanrenmin press, Beijing, China, p. 8.

Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine et al (1970). Barefoot Doctor Handbook. Shanghaishichubangemingzu, Shanghai, China, pp. 1-9.

Shao DX (2010). The Transition of Bare-foot Doctor and Rual Cooperative Medi-cal System. Journal of Zhejiang Party School of C.P.C, 4: 58.

Moon KT. A Comparative Study on Health Care Reforms between Russia and China in Transition [Ph.D. thesis]. Soongsil University, Korea; 2010, p. 82.

Cui WY (2008). China's village doctors take great strides. Bull World Health Organ, 86(12): 914-915.

Moon KT. A Comparative Study on Health Care Reforms between Russia and China in Transition [Ph.D. thesis]. Soongsil University, Korea; 2010, pp. 91-93.

Shin SS (1999). Development of integrated traditional Chinese and western medicine and change of medical policy in China. Uisahak, 8(2):207-32.

Park JS. Shin BC, Kim CB et al (2010). A policy Proposal for the Korean Collabo-ration of Eastern and Western Medicine according to a model of the Chinese in-tegrative medicine. Journal of Research Insti-tute of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University, 19(1): 1-7.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License which allows users to read, copy, distribute and make derivative works for non-commercial purposes from the material, as long as the author of the original work is cited properly.