Colors of China: A village doctor’s choice of life

Colors of China

People living in Cifu village say the place blesses people who come here. Embraced by mountains and endless farmland, the small village, nestled in the northeast of Bama county, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, makes for a peaceful life.

Doctor Qin Zanchun came to the village in 2004 to take care of more than 2,000 villagers. Back then, her only choice was to walk to the village along a bumpy unpaved path. Ten years later, the village is well connected, with a new concrete road. The village has also bestowed her a new clinic, and respect from the locals.

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Healthcare has also improved dramatically for the villagers since Doctor Qin arrived. Back in 2004 medical insurance was predominantly for city dwellers, covering only about a quarter of China’s population, and 80 percent of all the medical facilities were based in urban areas.

To offset this imbalance, China set out a five-year plan to rebuild the rural medical service system, by supporting the construction of county-level hospitals, grassroots medical care institutions and village clinics. A new affordable rural healthcare insurance was also set up, with 1.13 trillion yuan in total spending over three years.


With a city residence, not many choose to stay in rural areas as Doctor Qin does. Nearly all of her family lives in the center of Bama County. Weekend is the time for family reunion, as her husband also has a job in the town, and only comes back home once a week.

In the doctor’s daily journey, she will go down to the villagers’ houses to check on the over 60-year-olds on a regular basis, and give health checks to the newborn babies. That usually means getting home late to take care of her own child.


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