TCM to play bigger role in China's medical reform

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A health official said that Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) will take a bigger role in medical reform as TCM has advantage in prevention and health care.

TCM and western medicine complement each other, which is an important trait of China's health service system, said Wang Guoqiang, head of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, at the first TCM Science Conference on Sunday.

In 2013, China has more than 200 million senior citizens above 60, posting great challenges to the country's health sector.

"As TCM has advantage in prevention and health care and is relatively cheaper than western medicine, TCM will help to solve difficulties for common people to get medical treatment," said Wang.

Wang urged to strengthen strategic study on the development of TCM with both long-term goal and near-term target.

He also called on TCM workers to innovate so as to promote TCM technics and effects with new equipment and medicine invented.

According to Zhang Boli, principal of the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, the TCM industry has developed rapidly during the last 10 years.

In 2013, the total value of TCM out-put exceeded 560 billion yuan ( 91.4 billion U.S. dollars), one third of the total value of China's medicine industry.

Although TCM is greeting new opportunities, it still faces many restrictions.

Wu Yiling, academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, suggested to revise biased price policies for TCM, and to provide policy supports to TCM which has already been proved effective.

In July this year, the State Council issued a draft on TCM legislation, including establishing a comprehensive TCM medical service system covering both urban and rural areas, encouraging private capital to participate in building the TCM system, and enriching "TCM culture."

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