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Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai

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Ever since the founding of the PRC, the Communist Party of China and the Central Government has attached great importance to the development of TCM, specifying in 1954 theta “Unity of Chinese and Western Medicine” is predominant principle for the national medical service.

Specialised institutions were established successively in Shanghai, such as Shanghai Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (presently Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine), the medical institutions of TCM (such as the TCM departments in general hospitals), the research institutes of TCM, and Shanghai Municipal Public Health Bureau.

Remarkable success has been achieved in TCM medical services, teaching, research and administration. Researches in kidney essence, acupuncture anaesthesia and invigoration of blood circulation had great influence both domestically and internationally. The numbers veteran TCM doctors represented diversified schools, concerning internal medicine, surgery gynaecology, paediatrics, Chinese massage, trauma treatment, opthalmology and laryngology.

For example, the surgical operation originated by Gu Xiaoyan is well-known locally to cure severe furunclitis, acute mastitis, and other miscellaneous surgical diseases.

The trauma treatment advocated by Shi Xiaoshan is an important school in Southern China for its particular orthopaedic repositioning manoeuvres and its unique internal treatment of traumata. The ophthalmology treatment developed by Yao Heqing features the couching of cataracts, which has helped countless patients to restore their eyesight with only a single treatment.

The Lu Shouyan School, concentrating on acupuncture academic research, has contributed greatly to the innovation of acupuncture theory and treatment.

These schools have made important contributions to the development of TCM in Shanghai by virtue of their academic thinking and unique specialities, as well as their medical services.

During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), however, Shanghai TCM institutions were dismantled or merged, resulting in a severe shortage in qualified TCM doctors.

TCM institutions and practitioners resumed their medical services in 1978. The enactment and implementation of Regulations for Shanghai Municipality of TCM Development in 1998 laid a firm foundation for the development of TCM in Shanghai, and placed its development on a legal basis.

In the execution of the regulations, the policy of laying equal emphasis on both TCM and western medicine was fully observed, the service network of TCM was established, and the role of TCM was therefore brought into full play in provision of public health services, the prevention of serious diseases, and rural and community health care. By 1999, there had been four municipal-level TCM hospitals, and at least one government-run TCM hospital in every district or country, which provided the basis of a TCM service network.

Since 2000, the TCM service has shifted its focus from a quantity-orientated model to a quality-orientated model, and the strategy of cultivating well-known doctors, creating renowned medical sections and developing famous hospitals was vigorously implemented, to provide better TCM service for rural areas, local communities and individual households.

The special features and advantages of TCM such as simplicity in operation, easy availability of materials for treatment, effectiveness in treatment, and low cost, have been strengthened.

Shanghai now boasts 23 public TCM hospitals as well as Chinese and western medicine hospitals, 184 general hospitals, 232 community health centres with TCM departments with Chinese and western sections, and 307 private TCM institutions consisting a complete TCM network covering the city.

At the end of 2008, there were 8,048 registered TCM practitioners and 6,355 inpatient beds in Shanghai TCM institutions. The total number of outpatients and emergency service discharged by TCM hospitals accounted for 7.6 percent of the total medical service in Shanghai.

Presently, Shanghai has municipal renowned TCM doctors, 54 TCM specialties (among which 32 were State-level TCM key projects), 38 research studios of the practices of Shanghai renowned veteran TCM doctors, a TCM academy affiliated to Shanghai University of TCM, 6 key TCM research offices approved by State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 42 level-3 laboratories.

The TCM Development Office was founded in 2009 to integrate the administrative, medical and educational resources of TCM in Shanghai, to further promote the development of TCM within the city.

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