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Yangjia Hospital in remote Wuyi County in eastern China has become a home-from-home for Hu Hushen, 78, a former miner suffering from "miner's lung", as the disease pneumoconiosis is often called, since 1976. Hu, and his wife, have been staying at the Zhejiang province hospital for nearly a decade. He spends most of his time hooked up to oxygen to treat his lungs, ravaged by working through the 1960s and 1970s in a since-closed mine. The hospital, once equipped with the latest machinery and 150 staff, is now overgrown in parts with creeping vines, broken windows and derelict rooms, hit by falling patients numbers, a lack of funds, and weak government support for local healthcare. Spending on healthcare as a slice of gross domestic product is small at about 6 percent in 2013 compared with 17 percent in the United States, World Health Organization data show, while there is a dangerously wide gap between rural and urban care. "If we just treat this illness alone then we are putting ourselves on the road to oblivion, we need to expand what we do in all directions - it's the only way to survive," hospital director Fu Jianghua told Reuters. Fu, who has worked at the Yangjia Hospital since 1983 when it was operated by a mine, said it was hard to get new equipment or even the money to repair things when they broke. The hospital treats pneumoconiosis, a disease caused by inhaling . . . . . read more


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