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China sets example in health care.

By channeling funds toward prevention of disease and basic care, the government of China has saved tens of millions of lives and established a health care network that is widely regarded as a model for the Third World.

Writer Nicholas D. Kristof reports that by the prime measures of healthfulness, a baby born in China today will have better odds of survival than a baby born in New York City. In Shanghai, 10.9 infants out of 1000 die before their first birthday, while in New York City infant mortality is 13.3 per 1000 live births.

"Life expectancy at birth in Shanghai is now 75.5 years, compared to a life expectancy in New York City of about 73 years for whites and 70 years for non-whites as of 1980, the last year for which data are available."

Kristof points out that New York City's figures are worse than those for the US as a whole, while Shanghai's figures are the best in China. Both are their countries' largest and most crowded cities. "How can Shanghai, a dilapidated Third World metropolis in a country with a per-capita income of $350, give its infants such good odds?" he asks.

"The answer," he says, "has nothing to do with modern equipment or with money, for Shanghai spends just $38 a person on medical care, compared to more than $2100 in the United States. It appears that only about 5 percent of the Chinese gross national product is devoted to health expenditures, compared to 11 percent of America's."

Despite all its other shortcomings, China is delivering to its people in the area of health care.

--From the Ann Arbor News, Sunday, April 14, 1991
COPYRIGHT 1991 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Sep 22, 1991
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