China / News from across China

Community health centers to provide TCM services

By Wang Xiaodong ( Updated: 2016-10-18 20:09

All community and township healthcare centers in China are expected to be able to provide traditional Chinese medicine services by 2020, according to a plan released on Tuesday by China's top TCM regulator.

The plan is aimed at improving TCM healthcare services at grassroots levels and laid out key tasks for the next several years, such as improving infrastructure and facilities for TCM hospitals in communities and townships, encouraging private investment in the sector, improving training for TCM practitioners and promoting TCM healthcare services through integration with internet technology.

"To achieve universal healthcare in China, the key lies at the grassroots," Wang Guoqiang, chief of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said at a meeting on Tuesday. "Traditional Chinese medicine boasts advantages such as being cheaper and easier to practice, and is effective in disease prevention and healthcare. It suits the needs of people at the grassroots."

According to the plan, more than 70 percent of health centers at villages in China will have the capacity to provide TCM services by 2020, compared with 60 percent by the end of last year.

TCM clinical services are expected to account for 30 percent of all medical care services provided at the grassroots, compared with about 24 percent last year, according to the plan.

Coverage of TCM services in China has been increasing in the past several years, but it still cannot meet the needs of the people due to deficiencies in medical facilities and talent, which has restricted people from having access to quality TCM services, Wang said.

To make up for the talent deficiency, local authorities will encourage college students majoring in TCM to work in villages for a certain period after graduating, and they will select and provide training to 15,000 TCM practitioners in counties, townships and villages, he said.

Traditional Chinese medicine, which has different theories than Western medicine and uses different diagnosis and treatment methods, is supported by science and plays an irreplaceable role in disease prevention and control, said Yang Zhen, an associate professor at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

With the fast development of modern medicine in China, development of TCM is much slower in comparison, and research and development of TCM needs more government support, he said.

Hot Topics