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Draft law to strengthen TCM's role in China's medical system

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-21 13:18

BEIJING - China's top legislature began to read the Law on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) on Monday, which calls for a strengthened role of TCM in China's health care system.

The draft law was passed earlier this month by the State Council and was submitted to the bimonthly session of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee this week.

Wang Guoqiang, director of the State Administration of TCM, said Monday morning at the session that the draft law will support and exert TCM's role in the whole medical system, bringing it into the country's free-of-charge basic public health services program.

The draft law also vows to expand TCM's role in dealing with emergency public health incidents and diseases prevention and controls, strengthening policy support for TCM, making policies to allow TCM medical fees to be covered by basic medical insurance schemes.

The draft laws calls for maintaining the characteristics of TCM, using TCM methodologies to provide health services, improving the quality of TCM materials and encouraging medical institutions to use TCM preparations.

The draft law aims to address the current problems faced by TCM, including lack of capability and ability to adapt to the current personnel and drug system, Wang said. Passing of TCM theories and skills to a younger generation is also facing challenges.

TCM has gained public attention recently after pharmacist Tu Youyou was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work using artemisinin to treat malaria based on a traditional Chinese herb treatment.

The NPC Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee said in a report last week that legislation for TCM has become a hotspot in their work, with dozens of bills and suggestions made by NPC deputies.

The committee said the way to further support TCM services and ensure TCM clinics' equal status compared to other clinics.

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