I thought this method was an invention of Mao Zedong!Someone (may be Jan Myrdal) has affirmed, that Mao introduced this method generally in China, or at least in villages in rural areas... At first sight it seems a wonderful and right solution.I am sure it works quite well with the well paid doctor of the emperor. But I do not believe that it can be a good model for the entire society. I think it would lead to corruption, a good doctor will always be paid a lot. When he really needs the doctors help even the emperor probably would be ready to pay him.
This could be the reason for Chinese medical treatment being rather different from ours. In fact, those vintage therapies are more orientated to keep you healthy than to cure a sick patient.