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China reforms licensing to develop traditional medicine

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-17 07:35

BEIJING - China is reforming its medical licensing and clinic management systems for traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) by introducing two new regulations to promote its development, the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine announced Thursday.

Currently, it is necessary to pass both written and practical exams to become a qualified TCM practitioner, which bars some people who have specialties in TCM therapy but are weak in theory.

However, a new provisional regulation which pays more attention to practice will open a door to them, Zhao Wenhua, an official with the administration, said at a press briefing.

TCM experts will test applicants' specialties and the administration will decide the scope of applicants' business based on expert opinions. No doctor may provide any service beyond their scope, according to Zhao.

According to another newly-released provisional regulation, the administration will abolish approval to start TCM clinics but will strengthen supervision over them.

TCM practitioners can start their clinics after legal registration with local TCM supervisory departments at and above county level.

The TCM supervisory departments need to check the registered clinic's address, service scope and equipments within 30 days of registration, according to the regulation.

There were 481,590 TCM practitioners and assistant practitioners across the country in 2016.

The new regulations on TCM medical licensing and clinics will be put into effect in December.

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