China’s First ‘Pure’ TCM Hospital Opens in Shenzhen

By Bryan Grogan, April 4, 2019

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Shenzhen is the site of China’s first ‘pure’ traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) hospital, according to Sup China. Located in Bao’an District, Bao’an Pure TCM Hospital is a public hospital, and as such, patients can get free or subsidized treatment. 

The hospital, which opened on March 18, has stated that no less than 95 percent of their treatments will come under the TCM banner, unless in the case of emergency or when anesthesia is required. The hospital will house 54 outpatient clinics and 205 beds and will give Shenzhen residents the option to be treated for gynecological, pediatric, dermatological and orthopedic concerns, as well as providing massage and acupuncture treatment. 

Another cornerstone of the hospital will be research, as they seek to set out standards for pure TCM hospitals that can be adopted around China. One of the workers at the Bao’an-based facility said that the hospital will demonstrate China’s ability to influence the practice of TCM as it expands to the rest of the world. 

It is anticipated that for the first time the World Health Organization (WHO) will give its approval for a number of treatments under the TCM banner, which is based on the concept of qi, in the 11th version of their International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), according to Scientific American.

Opinion on the safety of TCM is split both in China and abroad. The article published by Scientific American is unequivocally against the idea of TCM as a legitimate and safe form of medical treatment. Chinese people are also not fully convinced whether pure TCM can be adopted, something that the hospital is keen to address by soliciting opinions about ammendments that can be made to the standards of the hospital, according to Southern Weekend

While the safety of adopting a 95 percent TCM treatment rule within a public hospital is still up for debate, traditional Chinese medicine industries are noted with having a detrimental effect on wildlife, according to Reuters. TCM heavily incorporates rare animal products into its practice. Since the start of this year, 8.3 tonnes of pangolin scales and USD1 million-worth of rhino horns have been seized in Hong Kong.

READ MORE: Over 100 Rescued Pangolins Have Died in South China

[Cover image via @南方周末/WeChat]

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