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June 25, 2010

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

An ambitious plan for city's TCM industry

SHANGHAI plans to set up its first large international Traditional Chinese Medicine center by 2012, offering high-end services for expatriates, the city's health bureau said.

The new center will play an important role in the city's three-year plan, ending in 2012, to boost the TCM industry and spread it globally. The plan calls for improving technical exchanges and communication with other countries and advancing technical knowledge.

The center may follow the current operating pattern of some hospitals' TCM departments that cater to expats, with both English and Chinese language services. Further details on how the center will function are still under discussion.

"TCM tech-knowledge in Shanghai has already caught global attention and is becoming popular among expats," said Shen Yuandong, deputy director of the Shanghai Heath Bureau.

The city boasts China's largest number of patients treated by each TCM doctor annually and has the country's most illustrious TCM serving community. Three of the nation's top 30 TCM masters are based in Shanghai, according to Shen.

TCM is offered at 23 Shanghai hospitals and 303 departments and clinics, Shen said. About 15 percent of local patients are choosing TCM at hospitals for their treatment - a number that is expected to soar in coming years, Shen said.

But the city's TCM resources are not enough to satisfy the growing demand, he said. The three-year plan is intended to help solve those problems.

By 2012, all districts will have access to TCM hospitals, with one or two large combinations of TCM facilities connecting hospitals to neighborhoods, providing every resident access to treatment in their complex.

A large number of TCM doctors will be hired from TCM institutions around the country. By 2012, more than 18 percent of doctors in community health centers are to be TCM doctors.

These centers might be Chinese language-only.

In addition, the city will bring in more exchange students from other countries to study TCM at universities and help develop the industry worldwide, according to the three-year plan.

Residents will be able to pay for larger proportions of TCM expenses through their medical insurance.


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