China diabetics raise stakes for healthcare reform

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A young boy suffering from diabetes is held by his mother as he has his tongue checked by diabetes specialist Doctor Tong Xiao Lins at the Guanganmen Chinese medicine Hospital in Beijing March 19, 2012. In 30 years, the Chinese people have gone from having barely enough to eat to worrying about chronic diseases like diabetes, leaving the healthcare system struggling with a condition that is rapidly outpacing its ability to keep up. Spending on diabetes reached $25 billion in China in 2010, only 6 percent of the $390 billion spent worldwide. But the rate of diabetes in China is already at the same levels as in the West, leaving doctors, drug companies and policymakers to hunt for low-cost alternatives before the disease swamps the rudimentary healthcare system. Picture taken March 19, 2012. REUTERS/David Gray