The Ministry of Health and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) have lambasted an on-line petition aimed at getting traditional Chinese medicine withdrawn from the country's healthcare system.
A source with the SATCM said, "The idea of abolishing traditional Chinese medicine is a denial of science."
Zhang Gongyao, a professor with Central South University, recently launched an on-line petition calling for the removal of traditional Chinese medicine from the country's healthcare system. Some netizens signed their names in support.
However, many more people opposed the petition.
Yang Yonghua, a professor with the Hunan Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said traditional Chinese medicine is undeniably a mainstream medical treatment method in China. He pointed out that 50 percent of patients suffering terminal stage cancer opt for traditional Chinese medicine treatments.
A Ministry of Health official said at a recent press conference that "traditional Chinese medicine is an essential component of China's medical care sector".
Referring to the petition, the SATCM source said people who denied the historical achievements, current function and scientific basis of traditional Chinese medicine were clearly ignorant of history.
"Thousands of years of practice demonstrate that people are fond of and deeply trust traditional Chinese medicine. The on-line petition to repudiate traditional Chinese medicine is a farce," the source said.
The SATCM source admitted that there were some cases of businessmen cheating customers in the name of traditional Chinese medicine. They might, for example, mix western medicine with traditional Chinese Medicine and earn money by exploiting people's trust in traditional Chinese medicine.
But shoddy practices such as these do not detract from the scientific value of traditional Chinese medicine, said the source.