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A review of stories making the headlines.
Permanent exhibition of medical objects
Chemist & Druggist  March 18, 2006

A permanent exhibition of medical objects from around the world has opened at London's Science Museum. Called "Living Medical Traditions", the display outlines the development of different medical approaches and healing systems used across the globe with a focus on Indian Ayurveda, Islamic Unani Tibb, African and traditional Chinese medicine. Lisa O'Sullivan, the museum's senior curator of medicine, said, "We are keen to show that these traditions are still the first point of call for many patients, by choice as well as necessity."

First for Macau with Chinese medicine hospital set to open
The Standard (HK)  March 25, 2006

Macau's first traditional Chinese medicine hospital opens Saturday at the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST). Hong Kong does not have one. It will be a 60-bed training hospital for MUST's Faculty of Chinese Medicine and the Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health. The faculty, which runs in cooperation with Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, has about 300 students pursuing bachelor and doctorate degrees in Chinese medicine and biomedicine. MUST vice rector Zhou Li Gao said the purpose of the hospital, "is to show the advantage of Chinese medicine, even as an adjunct to Western practices like surgery."

TCM physicians get new guidelines on ethical conduct
The Straits Times (Singapore)  March 31, 2006

TCM practitioners now have a new code of conduct, similar to the code issued to doctors by the Singapore Medical Council. For example, a female chaperone should be present with a male TCM practitioner examines or administers acupuncture to a female patient. TCM practitioners will no longer be able to advertise in the mass media or list themselves in telephone directories. In a statement, the TCM Practitioners Board said that this new code was meant to protect practitioners, and do not "aim to find fault with them for their wrongdoings or for complaints against them".

In 2001, the TCM Practitioners Board was set up as a regulatory authority. Between 2002 and 2004, a system of compulsory registration for Chinese physicians and acupuncturists was established. Singapore has 1846 registered TCM physicians and 1367 acupuncturists, who see about 12 per cent of all outpatients here. Most TCM practitioners said they do not foresee problems with the new guidelines, as they are already complying with most of the recommendations.

Jobless man dies after socking in herbal solution
South China Morning Post  April 1, 2006

A jobless man died after he collapsed while soaking in herbal solution in a Chinese medicine clinic in Sha Tin on March 31. Yau Chi-shing, 43, was sitting naked in a wooden bathtub at the Ichiban Wellbeing Clinic when he was found unconscious. Commenting on this incident, a TCM practitioner said the herbal soaking treatment could increase blood circulation, so it could be dangerous in people with heart conditions. She said patients could also absorb toxins through their skin, but it was "extremely rare" for a patient to die after taking herbal medicine bath. The Department of Health said that the public should consult licensed traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and follow their instructions such as the temperature of herbal solutions and the length of treatment. "Good ventilation must be maintained inside a treatment room and it is not appropriate to take a bath or soak in a herbal solution when you have an empty stomach or are too full," a spokeswoman said.

Animal Penis on the menu at new Beijing Restaurant
Channel Newsasia  April 3, 2006

A new specialty penis restaurant in the capital Beijing where diners can choose from cows, horses, donkeys and deer penis. "The cook cleans each penis for between one and two hours. This ensures that they are hygienic," said the manager, Yang Wen. Most diners are men eager to boost their virility. TCM practitioners warn that one must be careful about eating animal penises. Zhu Jinglong, head, Baijuntang Chinese Medicare Academy stated, "An excess will affect the kidneys, leading to the body over-heating, moodiness, anxiety and shortness of breath. It will affect the blood flow between the heart and the brain. In the long-run, blood vessels will oxidize and this can easily lead to stroke."

Chinese medicine looks to aim listing
The Daily Telegraph (London)  April 16, 2006

A Chinese medicine subsidiary of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison Whampoa Group plans to raise 40m pounds from an Alternative Investment Market listing to finance drug research. Chi-Med, which is expected to be valued at 130m pounds to 140m pounds, aims to develop drugs based on TCM to be sold in Western countries and China. The company, founded in 2000, is focusing on drugs to treat tumors and diseases that affect the body's immune system. Christian Hogg, the chief executive of Chi-Med, said that TCM is "a major, under-exploited reservoir for identifying and developing novel pharmaceutical and consumer products for the global market". Chi-Med aims to use the lower costs of discovery and clinical research in China.

Chinese President to visit Saudi Arabia
Global Africa Network  April 17, 2006

Chinese President Hu Jintao will arrive in Riyadh next Saturday on a two-day state visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showing to the growing importance of their relationship with each other. Apart from trade and economic agreements, Hu will also sign a series of agreement in sports and youth programs, energy and health affairs. The agreement on health cooperation will include the exchange of medical experts between the two countries and the introduction of traditional Chinese medicine into the Kingdom.

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