Idea to abolish traditional Chinese medicine rebuked
Updated: 2006-10-10 21:38
China's Health Ministry spokesman lambasted a netizens's controversial idea
that traditional Chinese medicine be taken out the country's health care system.
"Traditional Chinese medicine is the essence of China and is an integral part
of China's medical and health system," said Mao Qun'an, spokesman of the Health
Ministry, who called people who support the idea "ignorant of history".
The on-line writer asked other netizens to support his plan which urged the
health authority to take the traditional Chinese medicine out of China's
national medical system. The writer suggested that Chinese hospitals only
prescribe western medicines. Although the writer's original statement has
already been deleted it continues to stir hot debate among Chinese netizens in
other on-line forums.
Supporters of the proposal say they believe western medicine is more
scientific and trustworthy, while opponents condemned the proposal as ridiculous
Spokesman Mao said traditional Chinese medicine has proven merit in history
in protecting the health of Chinese people. "In modern times, it is still an
important choice for us to cure diseases and ease pain."
Mao said the proposal showed people's "ignorance" of history and the key role
that traditional Chinese medicine has played in the lives of Chinese people.
"We firmly object to such suggestions," he said. The ministry wouldn't
comment further after Xinhua contacted it for further explanation.
Earlier reports show that traditional Chinese medical departments in China
receive nearly 300 million visits a year.
The traditional Chinese medical industry, with a total production value of
nearly 81.026 billion yuan (about 10.125 billion U.S. dollars), accounted for a
quarter China's overall medical industry in 2005.
Mao said the Chinese government has helped develop traditional Chinese
medicine and western medicine equally in China.
He said China's health authority will increase support to bolster the
development of traditional Chinese medicine in the next five years. "There is no
doubt that we will further promote traditional Chinese