How a Junior Doctor Turned Around the Fortunes of a Chinese Village


Despite the country’s rapid economic growth, just 1% of 800 million rural Chinese had health insurance in 2003. To achieve universal health coverage, the government of China decided to close the gap in public services and social protections between rural and urban areas by strengthening the rural health system.

While the government was still planning to provide good quality health services and financial protection for 99% of its patients, Dr Qin Zanchun — a recent graduate — moved to Ci Fu to ease its less fortunate inhabitants out of the pain.

In 2004, Ci Fu was a poor village with no roads, no healthcare, no computer, and no one to take care of its sick senior citizens. Instead of jumping at lucrative opportunities post her graduation and make money, Dr Qin — who was constantly sick as a kid — chose to serve more than 2000 people in Ci Fu, and became the village’s only doctor. It wasn’t a glamorous life, writes Up Worthy:

She walked long distances on terrible roads every day to care for the villagers — many of them elderly. Her salary was just 30 Yuan, about $4.83, for an entire month. But she stuck with it and kept going because it was important to her. 10 years later, Ci Fu is a much different place.

People living in Ci Fu say the place blesses people who go there; the heartwarming video below shows how Ci Fu’s health improved dramatically since Dr Qin arrived.

Rural Health: A village doctor’s choice of life from D J Clark on Vimeo.

This article (How a Junior Doctor Turned Around the Fortunes of a Chinese Village) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and


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