Home > Current Events > Year 2009 November
A review of stories making the headlines.

Traditional Chinese medicine gives slim hope to obese man
Xinhua (www.chinaview.cn), 3 November 2009

TCM doctors at Kangda TCM l Hospital in Changchun City, Jilin Province are claiming a weight-loss breakthrough after helping an overweight young man in northeast China to lose 100 kilograms in only a year. Li Feng, 25, at 1.78 meters tall, weighed 185 kg when he sought medical help for his obesity in 2008. Now he weighs 85 kg. Li was treated with acupuncture and "fire treatment". The fire treatment consists of a body scrub, spa bath and massage. Then skin is smeared with a mud-like TCM solution and covered with wet towels dipped in alcohol. The towels are then lit, generating heat that drives the medicine through the skin. In addition to this treatment, Li has also been dieting and exercising.

Government to keep tabs on Chinese medicine clinics
Saigon Daily (www.saigon-gpdaily.com.vn), 9 November 2009

The Ministry of Health in Vietnam has ordered provincial health authorities to closely monitor TCM clinics where Chinese nationals are employed, according to Pham Vu Khanh, head of the Traditional Medicine Department. The Government has begun to crack down on dubious practices such as listing conditions that they claim they can cure. Regional health departments around the country have also been asked to monitor advertisements, medicine prices, and treatment at these clinics as well as issue licenses for them. These clinics also reportedly sell medicines of unclear origins at high prices and have Chinese nationals working there with false qualifications.

Rethinking TCM shots
Beijing Review (http://www.bjreview.com.cn), 12 November 2009

There have been over a 1,000 deaths after TCM injections in the last ten years. Many of the injection accidents happened in small town and rural hospitals because of the relatively low level of management. Medical staff in these locations also has less knowledge about how to properly administer TCM injections. "We support using TCM injections, but their use should be based on knowing how to give them properly," said Mao Zhenbin, a senior health official. The China Shineway Pharmaceutical Group has created leaflets instructing how to use TCM injections and handed them out to rural hospitals. TCM injections should only be used on patients in emergencies or if they have a serious condition, but some hospitals use them on regular patients, and should only be given by professional TCM doctors. Some hospitals ignore this recommendation.

Herbal medicine, tourism bring hope of wealth to SW China's ethnic regions
China View (www.chinaview.cn), 12 November 2009

Growing plants for herbal medicine and tourism have brought new income for the poor villagers of Yaoshan Village in Guizhou Province where the terrain is unsuitable for growing cash crops. However it has proved suitable for plants used in herbal medicine. In Dafang County, Jiang Yunming, 55, along with his fellow villagers, are benefiting from growing herbal medicine. Jiang, who used to be too poor to pay his children's tuition fees, now, earns tens of thousands of yuan annually by growing honeysuckle, an important ingredient in TCM. The Guizhou provincial government has helped villagers like Jiang make the best of their surroundings by providing them with small loans and skills training.

More "shared care" Chinese medicine
http://www.thestandard.com.hk, 18 November 2009

In Hong Kong, the Secretary for Food and Health, York Chow said sites for four more Chinese medicine clinics are being identified in addition to the existing 14 clinics. The government is incorporating Chinese medicine services into the public health system on an incremental basis. A larger scale of Chinese and Western medicines shared care services will be considered to be incorporated in the proposed Chinese medicine building under the Kwong Wah Hospital Redevelopment Project. The clinics operate under a "tripartite model of clinic collaboration" with non-governmental organizations and local universities, the Hospital Authority spokeswoman said.

Singapore and China sign MOU for traditional Chinese medicine
The Gov Monitor (Govmonitor.com), 23 November 2009

Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ministry of Manpower has signed the 4th Plan of Cooperation (POC) in the area of TCM with People's Republic of China's State Administration of TCM (SATCM) in Singapore. Wang Guoqiang, The Chinese Vice-Minister of Health signed the document on behalf of China. The Memorandum aims to formulate cooperation plans and help exchange of information and expertise on matters pertaining to the teaching, practice and regulation of TCM between the two countries. Chinese TCM experts have been invited to Singapore to assist the Ministry of Health and TCM Practitioners Board in the examination of TCM practitioners. Singapore will hold five health management training programmes in Singapore and China for Chinese TCM officials.

Beauty salons hop on the TCM bandwagon
Channel News Asia (www.channelnewsasia.com), 23 November, 2009

Acupressure massage, acupuncture slimming and fire therapy are some traditional TCM treatments that are said to help weight loss. These are now being offered by beauty salons. But unlike TCM practitioners, these beauty salons are not regulated by the Ministry of Health. Last year, when concerns were raised, guidelines for doctors offering aesthetic treatments were tightened, but these did not apply to beauty salons with similar offerings. A customer was recently burnt after a spa carried out fire therapy for weight-loss procedure. There have been six complaints about TCM services in spas or beauty centres in the last two years according to the Consumers Association of Singapore. Those who wish to practise acupuncture must have passed the Singapore TCM Registration Examination.

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