SINGAPORE – Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a role to play in chronic disease management here and the Ministry of Health (MOH) will continue to support the sector, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Sunday (December 12th).
Speaking in Mandarin at an event at Raffles City Convention Center to mark the 75th anniversary of the Singapore Chinese Doctors Association, Mr Ong thanked all associations and TCM practitioners for their support and cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 over the past two years.
“As trusted health care providers for your patients, you have been able to persuade and encourage your patients, especially the elderly, to receive Covid-19 vaccines and boosters. Every vaccination could be a life saved,” he said.
Mr Ong added that while the biggest enemy today is Covid-19, the rising incidence of chronic diseases will always be a constant challenge for health care.
“When it comes to chronic diseases, every doctor, whether you are a Chinese, Indian or Western doctor, knows that prevention is better than cure. This means leading a healthy life, having a good diet and staying happy and optimistic. .” he said.
A similar concept was already reflected more than 2,000 years ago in the ancient Chinese medical text Emperor’s Canon of Internal Medicine, which recommended a balanced diet and work-life balance, Ong said.
He added that it is necessary to recognize that TCM is a comprehensive body of medical knowledge and practice, with a history of thousands of years, and an important part of Chinese cultural heritage.
Mr. Ong pointed out that the MOH has already taken several steps to support the TCM sector, including two multi-million dollar grants launched previously.
In 2018, a $5 million grant was launched to support TCM clinics in upgrading their clinics and IT facilities, as well as continuing professional education, among other things. In 2014, $8 million was pledged to support research collaborations between Western physicians and TCM practitioners. .
Two working groups were also appointed this month to explore, among other issues, how to improve the clinical training of new practitioners.
Noting that Singapore now faces the threat of the Omicron variant Covid-19, Mr Ong added, “I hope to continue to rely on the support of the TCM community to overcome any challenges that may come our way.”