On a drizzly Saturday morning in rural Henan, a province in northern China, Mr Liu, 68, is in high spirits. The ruddy-skinned farmer has come to his village clinic for his second health examination of the year; hes had his blood pressure checked, had an ECG, completed a urine test and given a blood sample.With these check-ups I know more about my health, and I feel more secure, he says Its very good. Despite suffering from high blood pressure and chronic leg pain, he has never been to the bigger town hospital, which is a 30 minute drive away and at which he would have to pay a fee. The village check-ups, which started last year, are free.

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