In recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the delivery of preventive care in general practice. But differences in health status and health care utilization by socio-economic groups are well documented.1,2 Available evidence suggests that people from lower social classes receive less preventive care compared with people from higher social classes. For example, in The Netherlands males in lower social class showed a significant increase in risk of death from cardiovascular diseases compared with higher social classes.3 It is clear that in the prevention of avoidable mortality and morbidity, strategies should address the problems of differing patterns according to socio-economic group. In China, with the change since the 1980s from a strictly planned economic system into a free-market economic system, the socio-economic situation has greatly changed: numerous workers from state factories have been sent home with a low wage, and many even lose their jobs. Meanwhile unemployment has gradually become one of the big social issues and it is one of the important factors influencing economic development and social stability.