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Sub-anchor: Most Chinese hospitals have TCM departments


08-14-2016 05:28 BJT

For more, we are joined in the studio by CCTV’s Jin Yingqiao.

Q1. Tell us more about the history of traditional Chinese medicine in modern China. How is the government promoting its development today?

It’s a long process in the making. Since 1949, China's government has paid a lot of attention to TCM. In 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong called traditional Chinese medicine a great national treasure, saying it should be explored and enhanced. In 1960, there were 330 TCM hospitals, and 21 TCM schools in China . But during the cultural revolution, many TCM hospitals were deemed superstitious -- and were abolished.

To survive, some hospitals westernized and began practicing under the title of "eastern" medicine. That trend was reversed in 1982 when the government stressed that TCM hospitals must retain their core characteristics. Right now, virtually all Chinese cities have TCM hospitals, and most comprehensive hospitals in China have TCM departments. TCM received a lot of media attention during the 2003 SARS epidemic. Traditional Chinese medicine helped shorten SARS patients' fever periods, boost their immune systems, and reduce their need for hormone treatments.

When the Wenchuan earthquake hit in 2008, TCM doctors treated 260,000 patients for things like bone fractures and infections. Chinese herbal medicine has also been distributed in disaster zones to help prevent epidemics.

Q2. How is TCM accepted globally?

A lot of work needs to be done, but there's already considerable progress being made. In the United States, 5 percent of patients use natural medicine including Chinese herbs. California legalized the practice of acupuncture in 1975. Australian officials in Victoria put TCM on equal legal footing with western medicine in the year 2000.

Australia's Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology was also the first foreign university to offer a five year program on TCM. Also in 2000, British Columbia of Canada became the first region in North America to certify TCM practitioners and TCM medicine.  Today, TCM is practiced in 171 countries. It is legally recognized in 29 countries and regions. In 18 nations, you can even get your health insurance to pay for your TCM treatments.

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