China has asked its general and specialized hospitals to step up Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) service capacity due to the unique advantages of TCM in the treatment of COVID-19 infections.
General hospitals at or above the grade-two level and specialized hospitals should establish a working mechanism for the integrated use of Chinese and Western medicine in treating COVID-19 infections, and should make further improvements, according to a notice made public by the State Council inter-agency task force for COVID-19 response.
The document underscored the establishment of hospital-level expert groups composed of TCM and Western medicine doctors to jointly carry out multidisciplinary consultations, and study and determine the treatment measures for severe and critically ill patients, among other tasks.
It also stipulated that, in treating severe and critically ill patients, prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs, TCM techniques and ready-for-use TCM, including TCM injections, should be actively and rationally used.
The notice also highlighted the procurement and reserve of ready-for-use TCM and prepared slices of Chinese crude drugs in hospitals, especially those for treating severe and critically ill patients.
It also stressed further increasing the number of TCM personnel in hospitals.
China has a three-tier system for grading hospitals, with tertiary hospitals -- which have the largest number of beds and provide comprehensive medical services -- at the top of the system.