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2. Advances and Setbacks in Nationalist China’s Public Health Management, 1928–1937

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the public healthcare policies initiated by the leaders of the new health ministry and the problems they ran into. It describes what were these problems, what mistakes did the reformers make, how did they pay for them, and how were they able to persevere within a regime that had bitter fights with warlords and ideological opponents on its hands. In a decade of continuing civil war and mounting conflict with Japan, the chapter assesses what chance the public health reformers had of making any significant progress, let alone paving the way to a new social order in which China could control infection, save lives and demonstrate modernity. The Ministry of Health began in 1928 with a nominally supervisory relationship over seven major city health departments: Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Hankou, Nanjing, and Qingdao.

Keywords: civil war; Ministry of Health; public health reformers; public healthcare policies



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