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Interest in TCM prompts China scholarship program


04-27-2017 14:03 BJT

Full coverage: Belt and Road Forum for Int'l Cooperation

(Source: CGTN)

Countries included in China's One Belt One Road initiative will now be eligible to enroll students of traditional Chinese medicine in a scholarship program for one year's study in China. Ten thousand places will be offered at centers of Chinese medical expertise around the country. And several universities in Thailand, where interest in traditional medicine has grown, have expressed interest in sending students to China.

It is one of the foremost centers of oriental medicine in Thailand. Rangsit University, on the outskirts of Bangkok. The medical center offers a mixture of Thai herbal remedies…and Chinese traditional medicine.

Dr Wang has been working here for 15 years. And this afternoons patient is consulting him about a sleeping disorder. A reading of his pulse helps Dr Wang settle on a treatment.

Originally from Jiangsu, he has noticed a growing interest in traditional Chinese treatments…especially acupuncture, today's chosen treatment.

Precise skills such as these will be a fundamental part of the scholarship program now being offered in China. And many of his patients are investing a huge amount of faith in Chinese Medicine.

"Most of them maybe go to a Western doctor first bit cannot help much so they change to a chinese doctor for acupuncture and Chinese herbs," Dr Wang said.

Thailand is no stranger to the possibilities offered by traditional Chinese medicine, but now they are finding new devotees.

Here in Chinatown there’s a long history of shops selling traditional herbal chinese remedies, but today those shops are saying they're getting more custom from passing tourists than they are from Thais.

This shop is one of 5 Chinese pharmacies opened by Ms Thanidas family in the past 50 years. But while her customers used to be principally from the local Thai and overseas Chinese community, she has noticed that change, as traditional medicine has gained in popularity.

"Normally European people and Americans are interested in Chinese medicine but for Asian people it's only about 30%," Ms Thanidas said.

The family now employ a Chinese doctor to run two hour surgeries in their shops every day. Proof that while the patients may not be feeling well, the state of Chinese medicine appears in good health.

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