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Spain to host TCM hospital

Source:China Daily

Emma Gonzalez

Updated: 2016-02-05

Barcelona will provide land for $88.6m facility, the largest of its kind in Europe

Spain is to host the largest traditional Chinese medicine hospital in Europe, following the signing last week of an education and clinical practice cooperation agreement between the Beijing municipal government and Spanish authorities.

Barcelona, in the Catalonia region, will provide land for its construction, which is expected to cost 80 million euros ($88.6 million), according to Spanish business newspaper Expansion.

"This center will be the first of its kind outside Asia, an initiative that will make Catalonia the reference point in Europe in the field," wrote the Catalonian government in a press release.

The Catalonia Trade and Investment Institute will supply temporary office space for the creation of the European Development and Promotion Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an institution that will work on the expansion of the discipline across the continent.

The agreement also involves the launch of a TCM Master's degree - a collaboration between the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, the University of Barcelona and the University of Pompeu Fabra, due to start in September.

The hospital will develop a joint-research program with scientists from IDIBAPS, a biomedical research institute in Barcelona.

Spain to host TCM hospital

The clinical practice cooperation will enable the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine to send doctors to the University Hospital Clinic in Barcelona to treat patients under the supervision of local health authorities.

China has been making increased efforts to expand TCM outside the country, pushing for the ancient discipline to be accepted worldwide.

Xinyue Calduch, a spokesperson for the Spain-based European Foundation of TCM, said the plans to build Europe's largest TCM hospital reflect China's strong intention to invest in the promotion of the benefits of the use of natural medicine.

"Not only will it help us learn more about this millenary practice, but it will also have positive health benefits for Spanish patients," said Calduch.

"We are confident it will spread the advantages of the use of acupuncture, herbal remedies and many other Chinese manipulative therapies to other countries in Europe."

Although Spain is not considered a TCM pioneer, use of complementary herbal medicine is gaining traction in the country with more patients combining Western medicine with natural remedies, particularly acupuncture and herbal treatments.

The European Foundation of TCM estimates that 95.4 percent of Spaniards are familiar with natural therapies, with TCM being the most popular discipline.

Their study also suggests 23.6 percent of the country's population has used natural remedies.


 Spain to host TCM hospital

Workers prepare doses of traditional Chinese herbal medicine at a drugstore in Suzhou, Jiangsu province.Wang Jiankang / For China Daily

(China Daily 02/05/2016 page16)


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