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Development of Complementary and Integrated Medicine

For over forty years, the main medical field of different countries have examined and proved that Conventional Medicine, CM, such as surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, has limitations to the patients’ quality of life, curative effect, and survival. Especially the side effects of those treatments have great influence on patients’ will and confidence in continuing to accept the treatment, and worsening their quality of life; so they are looking for the possibility of Complementary and Alternative, abbreviation of CIM. The followings represent the current development of some areas:

(1) United States
National Institute of Health, NIH, has established Office of Alternative Medicine, OAM and committee in October, 1991 and re-established as National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, NCCIM, in 1998. National Cancer Institute, NCI, of NIH, established Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, OCCIM. These researching departments were established to find out the proof of CIM through scientific methods by exploring the past complementary and alternative healing practices in the context of rigorous science, disseminating authoritative information to the public, and trying to integrate it.

So, the concept of CIM is to integrate CM with CIM through scientific research and concrete evidence in order to increasing the curative effect of every kind of chronic disease, especially cancer.
The top ten cancer institutes of national evaluation in US have established the department of CIM, which show that it is playing an increasingly important role in clinical cancer treatment.

(2) Japan
In 2004, there have been twenty-five complementary or alternative institutes of every kind established in Japan, and later JACT (Japan Alternative and Complementary Therapy) was established. Eighty-five congress members of different parties initiated the establishment of Committee of Integrative Medicine. Ministry of Health, LABOUR and Welfare organized Project Team, PT, and started analyzing the effects and safety of CIM on February 11th, 2010. In addition, the government set aside tens of billions especially for researching Chinese medicine in the 2010 budget.

Kazuhiko ATSUMI of Integrative Medicine Japan indicates that there will be one hundred doctors carrying out seven subjects, including establishing international cooperation, building the National CIM center and international medical universities, which will have universities, professional school and issue the doctor’s licenses in the future. That is the project of CIM for future Japanese medication. Besides the national development, they will actively plan for international cooperation that will be establishing Asian association of the integrative medical organization.

(3) China
China is one of the earliest nations to develop CIM for tumors. Because Chinese traditional medication has unique diagnostic theories, Chinese medicine which is examined after practice, not just conjectures, contains extracts of thousands of years of clinical experiences. The special curative effect of Chinese medicine is quite different from the Western medicines, but it can complement for the lack of Western medicine in the above conditions and also work an overall effect for cancer treatment.

After the Global Tumor Conference in 1996, the office of international Cancer Prevention and Research Office of International Cancer Prevention Institute were established, as well as the Integrating of Chinese and Western Medication Study Group. In January of 1985, the Professional Committee of Integrative Medicine on Cancer was established. Moreover, in 2001, the research of “treatments for increasing the life time of cancer project” was added to the “15” categories of science and technology directed by the nation. This is the largest national clinical research to observe the curative effect for cancer of the integrative Chinese and Western treatment done by China Academic of Chinese Medicine, GUANG AN Men Hospital Beijing. Eight large Chinese and Western Hospitals like Beijing Cancer Hospital and China-Japan Friendship Hospital would join the research, which was conducted at random, with double-blind trials with large samples (mort than one thousand cases), and taken in multiple centers for the first time. After three years of thorough research, the following is the conclusion:
Survivals of integrative team: 12.03 months
Survival of Chinese treatment team: 10.92 months
Survival of Western treatment team:  8.46 months

The integrative team is obviously better than the other two. After scientific research and clinical practice for a long time, Chinese medicine does play a very important role in the integrative treatment. Through those positive examples and proper arrangement of medicinal herbs, Chinese medicine definitely can be used in any kind of cancer treatment. The importance of Chinese medicine is now gaining increasing clinical attention from people all over the world.

(4) Malaysia
In order to support the development of traditional and complementary medication, the Ministry of Health Malaysia established the “Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division,” and drafted a national policy for traditional or complementary medication which classified traditional medication of Malaysia, Chinese and India as complementary medicine. Chinese medicine has become an important part in the health care system in Malaysia by the formal text. This was the first time that Malaysia government officially brought Chinese medicine and other traditional medicine into national health policies. Many private colleges have offered bachelor’s degree courses in traditional Chinese medicine and encouraged Western doctors’ further study for Chinese medicine and other traditional medicine.

According to the research of Institute for Medical Research, Malaysia (IMR), there are about 50 – 60% of families taking traditional and complementary medicine in Malaysia. Until 2009, The Malaysian government has opened Chinese medicine and traditional medicine departments in three national hospitals where Chinese doctors will offer services for consultation, such as acupuncture and MOXIBUSTION, massage, and foot acupressure treatment. These hospitals are Hospital PUTRAJAYA, Hospital BESAR PULAU PINANG, and Hospital SULTANAH AMINAH JOHOR BAHRU, and the government plans to increase these government hospitals to a total of seven.

Private hospitals with a Chinese medicine department and integrating departments of Chinese and Western medicine are Tung Shin Hospital, The NEGERI Sembilan Chinese MATEMITY Hospital (NSCMH), Federation of Chinese Physicians and Acupuncturists Association of Malaysia (FCPAM) etc.

(5) Thailand
Western and Thai medication have been the mainstream in Thailand. With the improvement of civilization and the changes of diseases, the Ministry of Health in Thailand gradually realizes the limitations of Western and Thai medication and starts to research and use “alternative treatments.” Therefore, Chinese medicine with complete theories and experiences of systematic prevention draws their attention. The Ministry of Health in Thailand issued the first decree of “regulations for authorization of treatment to Chinese medicine method” and this was the first time in Thai history to recognize Chinese medicine and announced the legalization of traditional Chinese medicine in Thailand.

In 2002, the Department of Development of Thai Traditional and Alternative Medicine Ministry of Public Health was established formally to fully promote CIM.

There is a purpose in executing this policy by the Thai government. Many Thai people turn to the help of “Thai herbs,” Chinese herbs,” “health foods,” or “some unknown prescriptions” other than accepting conventional treatment when they face serious diseases, which cause many bad consequences and medical malpractices After the government issued this decree, all alternative medicines are required to be under the unified standard so that people can choose the most effective treatment and medicine for the individual using principles of freedom and safety. This is quite a humane policy.

(6) Taiwan
Although the development of CIM started late in Taiwan, since National Taiwan University Hospital, the leader of medical care in Taiwan, formally established Center for Complementary and Integrated Medicine on April 6th, 2009, it showed that medical care in Taiwan had to face the practical needs of the patients and follow the world trend. At present, the center offers consults for Chinese medicine and complementary medicine to ease pain in order to achieve the basic mission to improving patients’ curative effects and quality of life as part of medical care in Taiwan.

Other large medical centers established cancer centers and equipped with almost every kind of advanced and expensive equipment for diagnosis and treatment. These centers organize every type of medical treatment team for different cancers (such as medical treatment teams for breast cancer, etc.) based on the classifications of diseases, and start to watch for all kinds of tendencies, like nutrition and psychological treatment or palliative care etc. However, each cancer center varies its CIM according to the manager’s understanding and stress to CIM. Take Chang Gung Medical Foundation for an example, it started to provide the Integration of Chinese with Western medical services for cancer (such as nasal cancer and cervical cancer etc.) in April of 1998, and was the first medical center to establish CIM. Mackay Memorial Hospital was the first medical center to open Palliative Therapy. Besides these, Taipei Medical University Hospital Cancer Center and Taipei Medical University SHUANG Ho Hospital Cancer Center are trying to find the safer, more effective and thriftier ways for the patients with an open mind and a scientific attitude. We believe that there will be more and more cancer centers in Taiwan joining the world’s main stream against cancer.


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