Li Jia Wa Zi village. Ma Dong Ji, the "barefoot doctor" is the only doctor practicing in this mountainous region. He travels by scooter and receives a portion of medicines from the government, the remainder coming from private NGOs. His well-worn doctor's bag and stethoscope attest to the difficulty of his work. Most of his patients, when they are very ill, come to him on foot after walking several hours through the mountains. Hospital costs are prohibitive for village families who spend all their meagre savings to send a relative to hospital. Many, once they have amassed the required sum for an operation, cannot afford to keep the person in hospital to recuperate and so they leave without adequate rest and medication. Access to a decent health service is a major problem for poor peasants.
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