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China to Invest in Rural Health Care, Pay Greater Attention to AIDS

May 16, 2003

China will invest more funding and resources in rural health care due to the SARS epidemic and will also pay more attention to other epidemics, such as AIDS, officials said Thursday. "Recently, we've asked various levels of government to step up prevention of other epidemics in addition to fighting SARS. This includes our prevention and control work in AIDS in China's countryside," said Qi Xiaoqui, director of the Ministry of Health's department of disease control. International experts have said if China had paid as much attention to other diseases, including AIDS, as it is paying to SARS, many lives would have been spared. In earlier decades of the Communist regime, farmers received basic, but free, medical care. Gradually, over the past two decades of economic reform, farmers have had to pay for everything out-of-pocket, and most cannot afford it. At the beginning of the year, the government began putting 10 yuan (US$1.20) per farmer into the system, which local government has matched. Farmers themselves are also expected to pay. Under the new system, medical expertise will be transferred to rural areas as well, Qi said.

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Adapted from:
Agence France Presse

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
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