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July 29, 1974

Serve the People: Observations on Medicine in the People's Republic of China

Author Affiliations

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Toronto

JAMA. 1974;229(5):580. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230430072040

Since 1971, the Sidels have made a number of trips to the People's Republic of China, to study, observe, and understand the monumental changes that have taken place in China's health scene since 1949. Soon after they returned from their first trip, the Sidels, singly and jointly, have written and spoken widely in the United States and elsewhere on their experiences. Some of their observations are now rewritten and published in this volume. In this brief review, it is not possible to cover everything that the Sidels have seen and reported on. Basically, they corroborate many similar enthusiastic responses by Western observers who have been there recently.

As far as medicine and public health were concerned, China had never previously used its manpower and health resources to the extent that Chairman Mao was able to harness in recent years. The Sidels report on some of the ways that the government