Chinese doctors clear to practice
Nothing now lies in the way of the vision which sees the Czech Republic becoming the centre of traditional Chinese medicine for Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech Medical Chamber [ČLK] may be rather upset at the prospect, but it has failed with a whole litany of complaints over how Chinese practitioners are not subject to standard conditions and have no ČLK membership, screened qualifications or Czech language exam passes to their name.
Traditional Chinese medicine doctors are, for instance, thus clear to continue to practice at University Hospital Hradec Králové. “The ČLK chamber has unfortunately, in vain, exhausted all available legal means to bring this matter in line with the legal code,” ČLK's legal office head Jan Mach wrote in the chamber's internal magazine. Objections were raised with regional government officials, the regional governor, police, state prosecutors and the health ministry.
A project that runs a traditional Chinese medicine outpatients department, and a planned clinic, stem from a cooperation between the university hospital, the health ministry and private conglomerate CEFC China. Specialists in acupuncture, herbal medicine and other Chinese methods – promoted as informed by modern medicine but built on 2,500 years of Chinese medical practice – work in Hradec Králové on the basis of “temporary” exemptions, usually only given to foreign specialists on short visits to the country.
“The doctors at the Hradec Králové hospital are practising according to health ministry permits which can be issued for a period of one year,” stated health minister Svatopluk Němeček (Social Democrat). It is said that the Chinese practitioners are subject to the specialist oversight of Czech colleagues.
The path to a further expansion of traditional Chinese medicine in Czech hospitals is clear. Seven Chinese doctors are to work at the new clinic being created at University Hospital Hradec Králové with a financial injection of EUR 10m from CEFC China.