TCM gets shot in the arm

By Liu Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-01-12 07:19

The central government will continue to firmly support development of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Vice-Premier Wu Yi said yesterday.

Her reaffirmation was aimed at countering some "extreme opinions" late last year suggesting that TCM be taken off the official medical system.

Speaking at the annual national TCM working conference, Wu said measures will be taken to accelerate the development of TCM.

China will bid to list TCM as world intangible cultural heritage;

The government will encourage more TCM exports;

Protection of TCM intellectual property rights will be strengthened;

Knowledge about TCM will be included in school textbooks.

TCM plays a major role in ensuring public health, and its resources must be fully tapped in establishing a nationwide healthcare system, Wu said.

In fact, TCM is recognized globally as China has signed agreements on the medicine system with more than 70 countries, she said.

She Jing, vice-minister of health and director of the State TCM Administration, said yesterday in a report that TCM will play a bigger role in rural and urban community healthcare services this year.

The strong support for the traditional medicine system appears to be a robust rebuttal to a professor's opposition last October. He asked netizens to support his plan urging the health authorities to take TCM out of the national medical system.

Zhang Gongyao, with Changsha-based Central South University, suggested that Chinese hospitals prescribe only western medicines generating heated debate among the public.

(China Daily 01/12/2007 page1)

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