Major project to develop traditional Chinese medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine

The general office of the State Council in China has distributed the national health plan for the 14th five-year plan.  The plan proposes to implement a major project for the revitalisation and development of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

The plan will implement the health promotion of TCM and promote the upgrading of the health project of TCM to treat and prevent diseases. It will also improve the service capacity of specialties of TCM hospitals and strive for all county-level TCM hospitals to meet the basic standard of medical service capacity.

The plan is to promote the popularisation and application of appropriate technologies of traditional Chinese medicine. It will also explore a rehabilitation service model conducive to the advantages of TCM.

Within the plan are elements to do with promoting the development of a TCM Museum, implementing the dissemination of TCM culture, and promoting TCM culture into the campus. The plan will also look to develop TCM health tourism.

China has sent specialist doctors to Cambodia as part of China’s first foreign medical aid team specialising in TCM.  The country plans to boost international exchange and cooperation in TCM, according to a five-year development plan (2021-25).

In addition to developing more TCM hospitals and training more practitioners, the plan calls for improving TCM’s ability to tackle infectious diseases, building friendship hospitals and pharmaceutical parks and promoting the registration and use of TCM medications overseas.

In a statement explaining the development plan, the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine said that the international community have spoken highly of TCM. However, due to the fundamental differences between the mechanisms and therapies of TCM and those of Western medicine, there remain a number of barriers regarding the international promotion of TCM in the future.

Cambodia is an ideal testing ground for models of future collaboration, because there is a large Chinese population in Cambodia, so a TCM hospital is being built.

China plans to cooperate with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to establish 30 TCM centres, 50 collaboration centres and a number of TCM manufacturing centres abroad in the next few years.

China seeks to expand the influence of TCM by encouraging more non-governmental exchanges, promoting it as a supplement to regular medical services in communities, and seeking assistance from overseas Chinese.