Future of traditional Chinese medicine

Workers packing herbs for patients at a hospital’s traditional Chinese medicine division last year. — Filepic

THE challenges and opportunities of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in the post-pandemic and big data era were discussed at the 2020 international exchange meeting.

The meeting which was conducted online, was organised by the Association of Graduates from Universities and Colleges of China, Penang, Malaysia; Penang Chinese Physician Association and International Chamber of Commerce of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

It was attended by representatives of over 25 bodies across the globe.

Through the international exchange meeting, participants explored the contribution and development of TCM, studied the value and future of TCM and promoted exchanges between TCM practitioners from various countries.

In her opening speech, Dr Tan Hwang-Ee, who is president of Association of Graduates from Universities and Colleges of China, Penang, Malaysia, said in the era of big data, TCM was inseparable from the law.

“When TCM goes global, it is necessary to understand local laws in order to protect the local development of TCM.

“TCM practitioners, manufacturers and various related companies cannot do without the laws to

protect themselves and not infringe on others.

“By following the laws whether they are dealing with intellectual property rights or international trade, they can develop TCM in the long-term globally and in a healthy and safe manner, ” she said.

Tan added that internet technology was advancing by leaps and bounds.

“Big data analysis is becoming more prominent in modern research and I believe even TCM needs to adapt, ” she said.

Meanwhile, Penang Chinese Town Hall chairman Datuk Seri Khor Teng Tong said TCM had been part of Chinese civilisation for more than 5,000 years.

“Many people like to consult TCM practitioners and use TCM to regulate their bodies as it has fewer side effects than those of modern medicine.

“Although it takes time for TCM to condition the body, the treatment is effective.

“It not only treats the symptoms but also cures the root cause, ” he said.

Khor added that the Covid-19 outbreak had a huge impact on the social economy and people’s lives.

“At present, there is still no cure for Covid-19.

“However, TCM has shown effects, earning it more public attention.

“Previously, TCM played an extremely important role in fighting infectious cholera and plague epidemics.

“Meanwhile, TCM needs to keep up with the times. The big data era is approaching.

“I call on everyone to combine the ancient wisdom of TCM with modern science so that more people can realise the value and significance of TCM, ” he said.

Participants at the online event also attended several presentations by speakers from Malaysia, China, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Hungary and Czech Republic.

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