Home > Current Events > Year 2006 February
A review of stories making the headlines.
Taking the Chinese path to good health
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)  January 26, 2006

In Australia, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is no longer considered an "alternative" medicine. Acupuncture and herbal remedies arrived with the first wave of Chinese migrants in the 1850s, but it is only recently that it has gained widespread approval. This has been mainly due to its success in treatment, particularly as regards to acupuncture since around 15 per cent of general practitioners use acupuncture in their general practice, many private health insurers offering rebates on complementary therapy, and the Australian Medical Association releasing a discussion paper that recognised the scientific research into acupuncture. Membership of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA) has doubled in size in the past ten years in response to rapid growth in demand, with over 1,400 members around Australia. The main issue about TCM in was statutory regulation to protect consumers with Victoria being the only state that requires practitioners of Chinese medicine to be registered.

Not what the doctor ordered: number of bogus Chinese herb shops on our high streets is a cause for concern
The Daily Telegraph (London)  January 28, 2006

This year, the British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) raised concerns with the Advertising Standards Authority that consumers are at risk from some Chinese herbal clinics, which claimed to treat various forms of cancer and other serious conditions. "In many cases these shops are giving herbal medicine a bad name," says Nick Lampert, a lecturer at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading. "While high-street centres may raise awareness of Chinese medicine, they can also play on patient gullibility. The mark-up on herbs in these places can be huge." Many British-based TCM practitioners belong to the RCHM (Register of Chinese Herbal Medicines). This organization runs an approved scheme whereby consultants inspect supplies and monitor quality-control procedures, from farming through to packaging. Members'qualifications are vetted and approved.

Tung Wah Hospital plans to establish a Chinese medicine ward
Singtao Daily   (Hong Kong)February 4, 2006

Many hospitals in Hong Kong have Chinese medicine clinics, but unlike the mainland or Macau, the city still does not have public-run Chinese medicine wards. To promote the advance of traditional Chinese medicine in Hong Kong, Guang Wah Hospital plans to establish an integrated Chinese and Western medicine ward so that patietns can be treated by both medicines and who need to be hospitalized can do so. It is planned that this first ward will have 30-40 beds and provide full-day services. All those entering this new ward will have the full range of Chinese medicine services such as acupuncture and massage available to them. Increasing recognition of TCM by many Western medical practitioners mean that there will be room for cooperation with western medicine if needed, stated Dr. Yip Wai-chun, chief of outpatient services.

The World's herbal hub
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)  February 4, 2006

Che Chun-tao, director of the School of Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong stressed that Hong Kong could become a hub for research and production of health and pharmaceutical products since traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is becoming popular worldwide. The government-funded Applied Science and Technology Research Institute aims to bridge the gap between laboratories and commercial applications. Mainland TCM companies such as Tong Ren Tang, founded in Beijing in 1669 and one of China's oldest druggists, has invested $150 million in a production base in Hong Kong's Science and Technology Park. Another major mainland manufacturer of traditional medicines, Han Sheng Tang Herbal Technologies, has established itself in Hong Kong, while the the Jockey Club's Chinese medicine institute has set up facilities for drug development, clinical trials, authentication, quality control and standardisation.

Bid for traditional Chinese medicine to be added to world cultural heritage list
Oriental Daily News (Hong Kong)  February 5, 2006

The Chinese government is supporting a bid for traditional Chinese medicine to be included on UNESCO's world intangible cultural heritage list. The committee expert group for declaring Chinese medicine a world cultural heritage under the auspices of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) has kicked off its proposal work held a conference in Beijing recently to discuss this issue. The SATCM is expected to submit its official application to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) within the year. Sources from the Administration say that China shall propose traditional Chinese medicine in a whole package, including the Han nationality's traditional medicine and minority Chinese medicine, theory, practice and material resources and folk medicine among other items.

Pioneering the diagnosis of artery health
The Business Times (Singapore)  February 11, 2006

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners check patients' pulse for a few minutes before making a diagnosis. The ancient method of reading the pulse as with TCM may well be adopted in Western medicine to diagnose the risk of heart attack and stroke according to Dr Ting Choon Meng, a Singaporean general practitioner who has came up with a convenient way to take 24-hour readings of blood pressure and arterial pulse waveforms. Dr Ting, who practices at T&T Family Clinic, is also chairman and CEO of HealthStats which developed BPro, a 24-hour Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitor that is worn on the wrist like a watch. The watch also captures arterial pulse waveforms. Dr Ting's premise is that artery health, which a waveform captures, is key to indicating the potential for suffering a stroke or heart attack.

Health Works Group donates one million HK dollars in celebration of Hu Xiuying's 101 birthday
Singtao Daily (Hong Kong)  February 11, 2006

Shanghai Zoo and a wine company have jointly produced tiger bone wine and deer antler wine, selling it to zoo visitors under the label "Shanghai Wild Animal Park." The www.thebeijingnews.com reports that the label on the box includes a picture of a tiger with the words "rare animal bones" and listing herbs such as Acanthopanax bark, Largehead Atractylodes Rhizome and processed ginger. Vendors selling this wine say that it is made from actual tiger bones from animals that have died through injury or natural causes, so they called the wine "Healthy Bones Wine" to avoid confusion. Tigers are protected in China, so the zoo's superintendent has the responsibility to investigate employees who misuse their position in carrying out this illegal activity.