Several foreign students watch a TCM practitioner examining a patient at Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of TCM. [Photo/zj.zjol.com]
Medical workers in Zhejiang province have been committed to promoting traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, in countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative in recent years.
Their move is a response to a plan issued by the national medical authorities in 2016 that requires 30 overseas TCM centers to be established in these countries. The provincial government of Zhejiang also published a document in 2017 asking for enhanced cooperation in TCM with these countries.
Zhejiang has long been helping TCM go global. In 2008, the Zhejiang Provincial Hospital of TCM became an international TCM cooperation base under the National Administration of TCM. It has since played host to more than 2,000 students from a dozen of overseas countries such as Israel, the United States and Australia.
Zhejiang Chinese Medical University has also been involved in various forms of cooperation with 94 teaching and medical units in 32 overseas countries. This includes conducting academic credit recognition programs with the University of South Wales and establishing its first overseas teaching hospital in Germany. The hospital has formed a complete exchange student education system and has so far educated more than 6,000 students from over 50 countries and regions in the world.
In Thailand, there is an annual TCM training program where doctors from hospitals affiliated with Wenzhou Medical University in Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, go to teach TCM to local students.
The country now has nine universities offering TCM courses and more than 1,000 legal TCM practitioners.