Home > Current Events > Year 2011 September
A review of stories making the headlines.

Students to gain from pact
The Star Online, 4 September 2011

University Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) has tied up with a Chinese Medicine centre for the benefit of its students undergoing internship. Utar president, Prof. Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik, said its Chinese Medicine students would use the medical facilities and resources at the Chang Chun Medical Unite Therapy Centre (CCMUTC) for clinical training. The 21 students in the pioneer batch are pursuing the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine program which commenced in May. Utar has also signed with GuangZhou University of Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine all in China, to facilitate student exchange and academic and research collaboration.

Trends of increase in western medical services in traditional medicine hospitals in China
7th Space Interactive, 6 September 2011

A report had compared the changes in types of hospital service revenues between traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospitals and Western-medicine based general hospitals. 97 TCM hospitals and 103 general hospitals were surveyed in years of 2000 and 2004. Six types of medical service revenue between the two types of hospitals were compared overtime. The national statistics from 1999 to 2008 were also used as complementary evidence. It was concluded that western medicine has become a vital revenue source for TCM hospitals in the current Chinese health care environment where government subsidies to healthcare facilities have significantly declined. Policies need to encourage TCM hospitals to identify their own special and effective services, improve public perception, increase demand, strengthen financial sources, and ultimately make contributions to preserving one of the national treasures.

Chinese medicinal herb prices continue fall
CapitalVue News, 6 September 2011

Data from the China Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CATCM) showed that herb prices continued their fall last month. Of the 537 herbs monitored, 75 recorded a price rise while 161 recorded drops. Prices of more than half of the total remained unchanged from July. A medicine sector analyst said prices of some commonly used herbs tumbled on strict regulations of the National Development and Reform Commission after surging earlier. But he estimates traditional medicine herbs prices will bounce back in the future.

Paul Fan appointed as Senior Adviser to State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine
HKSAR Government, 8 September 2011

The State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) of the Ministry of Health has appointed Mr Paul Fan, as its Chinese medicine International Collaboration Senior Adviser for a term of three years. Mr Fan works in Hong Kong's finance and securities sector. Apart from having served in various public offices in his own sector, he has also made distinguished contributions to the development of youth affairs and Chinese medicine in Hong Kong over the years. In connection with the latter, Mr Fan has been Chairman of the CMC since September 2005, his term of office will come to an end later this month.

Traditional Chinese medicine exhibition opens in Vienna
English.news.cn, 10 September 2011

The three-day Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) exhibition opened in the Flower Garden Hirschstetten in Vienna. Holding for the second time, the exhibition this year have attracted more visitors to take part in the health talks on TCM, read or buy books around the theme of TCM. Some visitors enthusiastically tried Chinese diet therapy prepared by the organizers. TCM has been increasingly recognized and accepted in Austria, which not only has entered into the classroom but also into the hospital and clinic. Some private health insurance companies have started to include TCM treatment into their insuring categories. Chinese patent drugs are already available in many pharmacies in Austria.

America's Nobel awarded to Chinese scientist
USA TODAY, 12 September 2011

One of medicine's most prestigious prizes this year goes to Tu Youyou of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing. She receives the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award for her discovery of the malaria drug artemisinin, which has saved millions from dying from malaria, especially in the developing world. Tu, 81, began working on malaria during China's Cultural Revolution, when the government launched a secret military project to find a remedy to one of the world's most deadly diseases. Tu went through traditional Chinese medical and folk remedy texts looking for possible treatments. One, the extracts from Artemisia annua L., or sweet wormwood, stopped the parasite's growth. In 1972 they produced a drug that could be used to treat humans.

Acupuncturist jailed for patient sex assault
Toronto Sun, 12 September 2011

An ex-Vancouver acupuncturist who sexually assaulted four female patients was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of probation. Rang Pham must also submit a DNA sample and remain on the national sex offender registry for 20 years. The B.C. Supreme Court had convicted the 69-year-old Pham of sexually assaulting the women at his Hastings-Sunrise clinic. He was also acquitted on three other counts of sexual assault. As part of his probation, Pham must also perform 50 hours of community service.

Demand for alternative therapies fuels trade in endangered animal products
London Evening Standard, 13 September 2011

An illegal trade in traditional Chinese medicine using ingredients from endangered species is being fuelled by Londoners obsessed with alternative therapies, a police expert warns. Sgt Ian Knox, the head of the Metropolitan Police's Wildlife Crime Unit, said: ¡§Many people are turning to alternative medicines and treatments such as acupuncture so this is perhaps not so surprising but we need to educate people about the products they are buying.¡¨ His unit launched a month-long exhibition at London Zoo about the illegal trade. The products on display range from a stuffed tiger cub, seized from a London dealer who had put it on sale for ¢G20,000, to two rare turtle shells found in a private home in south London. Police say London is a major trading hub contributing to a global illegal industry worth ¢G6 billion.

China needs half a million traditional doctors
Bio Scholar News, 14 September 2011

China needs over half a million professionals trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) over the next five years, a government report has revealed. The report, released by the state administration of traditional Chinese medicine, said that about 517,600 more TCM personnel are needed for the country¡¦s hospitals, community healthcare centres and rural clinics. The report also highlighted major problems, such as TCM resource imbalances among the country¡¦s different regions and lack of TCM service institutions and workers in rural areas. The report, based on a national investigation of the basic situation of TCM development, says China now has about over 500,000 TCM workers and about 21% of the country¡¦s qualified medical staff have TCM service qualifications.

Rhino horn has no health benefit
Care2, 16 September 2011

President of the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) and President of Council of Colleges of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (CCAOM) Lixin Huang has publicly said that rhino horn is no longer approved for use in traditional Chinese medicine. She also said the principle of balance is important both in traditional Chinese medicine and in ecology, meaning that TCM does not approve of damaging or destroying the natural balance existing in ecological systems. The use of rhino horn is a misinterpretation of TCM and is disrespectful to it, she explained. Rhinos populations have been driven down to dangerously low levels, mainly because of demand created by very outdated, silly superstitions regarding their horns.

Chinese medical teams adds value to health service in Zimbabwe
English.news.cn, 19 September 2011

The Chinese medical teams in Zimbabwe have helped improve the health delivery service in the southern African country and won recognition from the government and its people. Obadiah Moyo, the chief executive officer of Chitungwiza Central Hospital, described the Chinese doctors as ¡§highly skilled and extremely professional¡¨. Moyo added that apart from providing professional service, the Chinese doctors also brought with them sophisticated equipment which has benefited the locals, citing the eye camps at Chitungwiza Central Hospital. The Chinese medical teams comprise doctors specializing in western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture and massage, as well as a combination of both. They also involve in community projects such as helping children orphaned by HIV and Aids.

Inhibitory effects of inhaled complex TCM on early and late asthmatic responses induced by ovalbumin in sensitized guinea pigs
7th Space Interactive, 24 September 2011

Many formulae of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) have been used for anti-asthma treatment dating back many centuries. There is evidence to suggest that TCMs are effective as a cure for this allergenic disease administered via gastric tubes in animal studies; however, their efficacy, safety and side effects as an asthmatic therapy are still unclear. In a study, guinea pigs sensitized with ovalbumin (OVA) were used for asthma challenge, and complex traditional Chinese herbs (CTCM) were administered by nebulization. The results showed that inhalation of CTCM could abolish the increased lung resistance (13-fold increase), reducing to as low as baseline (1-fold), which indicate a novel method of administering TCMs for asthma treatment may be more effective than traditional methods.

Scrape the blues away
Global Times, 28 September 2011

As summer gives way to autumn and then winter, many people feel weak, depressed, upset, and even irritated. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there is a cure for seasonal malaise: scraping. ¡§Seasonal changes can slow down metabolism and leads to hormone disorders that make people feel sick,¡¨ claimed Dr. Dong Yanfen, of Beijing's Xiyuan Hospital. Autumn may be the time for harvest, Dr. Dong warned, but it's also the easiest time for toxic matters to accumulate in our bodies. Autumn blue is a TCM term that encompasses symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, lack of appetite, coughing and muscle pain. ¡§Scraping helps release stagnation and draw out toxins,¡¨ said Dr. Dong. ¡§It can remove cold, damp and heat in the body and is commonly used to treat fever, heatstroke and joint pain.¡¨ However, scraping is not a form of relaxation to be done often like massage, and it doesn't make already healthy people healthier.

Compiled By:
Rose Tse, Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.