Home > Current Events > Year 2008 July
A review of stories making the headlines.
Traditional medicine clinic closed after patients hospitalized
Thanh Nien (Vietnam), 8 July 2008

Central Highlands health authorities (Vietnam) have temporarily closed a TCM clinic after three women said pills and teas from the practice put them in the hospital. Vo Dong Phuong, chief inspector at the provincial Health Department, said investigators had seized several types of Chinese medicines at the Vuong Phat Eastern Medicine Clinic for testing after the women fell ill with vomiting, dizziness, and diarrhea as well as limb numbness immediately after drinking medicinal tea and taking pills from Vuong Phat in late June. Lam Dong General Hospital director Nguyen Ba Hy said it was difficult to treat patients who had problems with TCM as the hospital had no way of knowing exactly what medicine they had taken.

Singapore's first TCM scholarships awarded
Asia One (http://news.asiaone.com), 17 July 2008

Healthcare company Eu Yan Sang International has awarded Singapore's first TCM scholarships to two outstanding undergraduates, Ms Chew Siew Tiang and Ms Zhang Ruifen, from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) earlier this month. The scholarship was open to eligible undergraduates enrolled in NTU's Double Degree Programme in Biomedical Sciences and TCM. Both students will each receive $42,100 for the two-year scholarship. On graduation, they will join Eu Yan Sang as TCM physicians after obtaining their practising licences.

Traditional Chinese doctors fight federal regulation under Bill C-51
CBCnews.ca,18 July 2008

TCM doctors across Canada have voiced strong objections to fight the federal government's controversial Bill C-51, a proposed law that critics say will make many natural health products unavailable, including Chinese herbs. If approved, the federal bill would treat natural health products like herbs, vitamins and minerals as drugs, making it harder to import, sell or prescribe them. Herbs would have to pass Western-style clinical trials under this new bill. The new bill could outlaw up to 60 per cent of natural health products currently sold in Canada. Many natural health product retailers and holistic health practitioners maintain major drug companies lobbied for the bill, but the government has maintained it's about safety.

White paper on drug supervision issued
The China Daily, 18 July 2008

The White Paper on the Status of Drug Supervision in China was issued in Beijing Friday by the Information Office of the State Council. The white paper touches on such topics as an overview of drug supply, quality and safety, the drug safety supervision system and legal system, policies and measures concerning drug safety supervision, supervision of TCM and folk medicine, and international exchanges and cooperation in drug safety.

Chinese tea to cool off games' volunteers
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 18 July 2008

Olympic volunteers will battle high temperatures during the Beijing summer. With this in mind, the Chinese Traditional Medicine Association (CTMA), starting from last year, the CTMA began inviting experts to conduct research on brewing a tea that can cool the body.  The tea they came up with is made of traditional Chinese ingredients such as honeysuckle, ebony, green tea and citric acid.

UM receives first batch of PhDs in Chinese Medicine
Macau Daily News (http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com), 18 July 2008

The Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences (ICMS) of the University of Macau (UM) has recently announced its first PhD graduates. Wan Jianbo, Li Peng and Yu Hua theses were highly acknowledged and praised by examination committees constituted by university professors from the United States, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Their research was sponsored by the Science and Technology Development Fund, Research Committee of the University of Macau, Laboratory of Prof. Kang Jing-Xuan (Harvard Medical School), The Hong Kong Research Grants Council, and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

China to hold medicine exhibition in Lhasa
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 19 July 2008

It has been announced that China will hold its first exhibition on traditional medicine of ethnic groups in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region, in September. The exhibition will display medical products made by minority pharmaceutical companies along with other Chinese pharmacies and Western medicine, according to Yu Deshui, executive deputy director and secretary general of the China National Health Association of Ethnic Nationalities. The minority regions of China have more than 8,000 traditional medicines, accounting for nearly two thirds of the total TCM resources.

Designated hospitals ready for Olympics, more careful with details
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 22 July 2008

Guang'anmen Hospital of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, a specialist TCM facility, is one of the designated hospitals for Olympic athletes. It wants to highlight the effectiveness of TCM treatment, including acupuncture, massage and psychological treatment as well as herbal medicines to the world.  However, "we will be very careful with some traditional medicine which may contain stimulants," said Wang Weidong, vice-president of the hospital.  The hospital has spent over 200,000 yuan (about 28,985 U.S. dollars) on bilingual signs.  Wang also stated that "We also have the standard translations for TCM, which can be used by doctors when they write the prescriptions."

Students hit with hysteria
The Star (Malaysia - http://thestar.com.my), 26 July 2008

About 30 students and some teachers in SMK Tanjung Lumpur in Kuantan had been hit with hysteria in the past two months, the newspaper Kosmo reported. "I was told that the incidents only started after a piece of land next to the school was cleared to build a three-storey lab," said Idrus Sulong, 39, the father of a victim. He said that a traditional medicine practitioner had claimed there were many spirits at the construction site.

Compiled By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA, MA (Asian Studies), Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.