China has been dedicated to increasing the supply of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) services. By Aug 2, 2020, the number of registered traditional TCM clinics has reached 18,785, a huge rise from 195 in 2017 and 8,376 in 2018.
"It's so convenient to receive TCM treatment!" Chen Lingzhu, 29, a financial worker in Shenzhen, South China's Guangdong province, said. Having no time to run to a big hospital, Chen went to a TCM clinic near her home, grabbed traditional Chinese medicines, and swiped her medical insurance card to pay more than 400 yuan (about $57.98). After taking the medicine, she felt much better than before.
"The whole process of opening TCM clinics can now be processed online," said Fu Haicheng, vice-president of a TCM clinic brand in Shenzhen. He has been working in the field of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 10 years. In the past, the approval process for opening a clinic required more than two months and he had to make many trips.
Now, the declaration materials of opening TCM clinics can be easily completed online. Fu filled out the industrial and commercial name form for opening a new clinic online and received a text message three days later. He then uploaded his business license, physician information, and clinic plans, receiving approval in about three working days.
"Before the decoration of the clinic was finished, I got the certificate. How easy it could be to open a clinic!" Fu said.
Yu Haiyang, director of the policy and regulation department of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said that originally TCM clinics were mainly pre-approved, but now there are no restrictions on the layout of TCM outpatient departments and TCM clinics, as well as restrictions on their specific number and location.
Tian Xingjun, director of the Sichuan Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said the TCM diagnosis and treatment model is highly compatible with the family doctor system; the establishment of TCM clinics under the filing system helps integrate TCM services into the communities, improve the accessibility of TCM services at the grassroots level, and meet the diverse medical needs of the people.