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Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung

Talk On Health Services

January 24, 1964

[SOURCE: Long Live Mao Tse-tung Thought, a Red Guard Publication.]

China’s health service emulates that of the Soviet Union, and I cannot completely accept what health doctors say. I have a gentlemen’s agreement with my doctor. When I have a fever I will call you, and when I do not have one I will not bother you and you will not bother me. I said that if I did not have to call on him for an entire year, that would be testimony of his great merit. If I had to bother him every month, this would be proof that he had failed in his work. I only follow half of what the doctor says and expect him to follow me in the other-half. If we abide by everything the doctor says sickness will multiply and life will be impossible. I have never before heard of so much high blood pressure and liver infections. If a person doesn’t exercise but only eats well, dresses well, lives comfortably, and drives wherever he goes, he will be beset with a lot of illnesses. Excessive attention to food, clothing, housing, and means of transportation are the four underlying, causes of illness among high-level cadres. Our health service emulates the Soviet Union. It makes specialists out of general practitioners. They must treat all types of illnesses and improve themselves.

Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung