The First National Medical Team of TCM Specialists Assisted Cambodia: Attracting An Increasing Number of Cambodian Patients
Published on 17 February 2023

One day, a young Cambodian girl with a swollen, gloomy and sickly complexion walked into the TCM Department of the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Attracted by the achievements of Chinese doctors in the hospital in treating miscellaneous intractable diseases, her unconfirmed condition eventually brought her here after visiting multiple medical institutions. Chinese doctor Dong Fei determined that she probably had systemic lupus erythematosus after inquiring symptoms.


Therefore, the diagnosis and treatment scheme by combination of TCM with Western medicine was proposed. As the edema subsided completely after 3 months of medication, she bloomed beautiful smile again.

Next month marks the first anniversary of the TCM Department's opening in Cambodia. The first anti-epidemic medical team of TCM specialists dispatched by China was widely praised for its great efforts made in the treatment and training by combination of TCM with Western medicine, promotion of TCM culture and technology, contribution to the improvement of medical care and public health in Cambodia, and provision of high-quality TCM diagnosis and treatment services for Cambodian people and overseas Chinese.

"At the TCM Outpatient of the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital, Chinese experts showed their expertise, combined acupuncture with medicine, and brought a new medical experience to Cambodian people with acupuncture, auricular point pressing with bean, moxibustion, cupping, scraping and other appropriate techniques of TCM, fully demonstrating the advantages and characteristics of TCM." Xu Feng, leader of the anti-epidemic medical team of TCM specialists, told a reporter from Beijing Daily client that an increasing number of patients were attracted by consistent praises for clinical efficacy of TCM, instead of ads, so that the TCM Department ranked first in the number of consultation among all departments of the hospital. "At first, most of the patients were overseas Chinese in Phnom Penh. Later days saw a gradual increase in the proportion of Cambodian patients. Many of them even made a special trip from cities like Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.

Xu Feng was a longtime head of international cooperation in TCM at home. He has long known Hu Ting, head of Technology Department of National Center for Traditional Medicine Research of Cambodia. A few years ago, Hu Ting received a one-month training on TCM at Xiyuan Hospital of CACMS in Beijing upon the recommendation of the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, and continued his research on traditional Cambodian medicine after returning to his country. Persistent efforts have been made in recent years by Hu Ting and his colleagues to systematically summarize the traditional Cambodian medicine and sort out the botanical resources of Cambodia.

Xu Feng explained that developing the TCM training for the Belt and Road Initiative has always been an important theme of national and international cooperation in human resources. Moreover, many Cambodian youths who study in China choose to major in TCM or Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine. Among the Cambodian assistants working for the medical team at the TCM Outpatient of the hospital, you can find some youths who have finished their studies in China. Fluent in Mandarin and equipped with professional medical knowledge, they can serve as a bridge between the medical team and local patients.


Besides, the medical team provided further training on appropriate TCM techniques for local TCM talents. The "Overseas Training Course on Appropriate Techniques of Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine in Cambodia" was opened to fill the gap of medical workers in Cambodia and meet the needs in talent cultivation of the hospital, and a total of 127 Cambodian trainees attended the course. Last year, more than 200 Cambodian medical workers from the hospital were recruited by Xiyuan Hospital of CACMS through foreign aid training programs of the Ministry of Commerce. Xu Feng said: "I hope that a TCM medical team that takes root deeply in Cambodia can be built in the near future."

TCM is a gem of Chinese civilization and also a key to the treasury of Chinese civilization. Upon arrival in Cambodia, the medical team has set one of its specific goals - promotion of TCM culture. Through the cooperation with local colleges and universities, the experts introduced and demonstrated eight trigrams boxing, a TCM health-preserving method, in the activities themed with "Health, TCM and Culture" jointly held by the medical team and Confucius Institute. At the invitation of several institutions including the Cambodian Senate, Royal Academy of Cambodia, and Chinese School of Khmer-Chinese Association in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the medical team provided Cambodians from all walks of life with basic knowledge of TCM and practical health-preserving methods to improve public health awareness and level.

Statistics show that 196 countries and regions have embraced TCM and established 30 high-quality overseas centers for TCM and 56 bases of international cooperation in TCM. Xu Feng added that as the international cooperation in TCM is gradually incorporated into several intergovernmental cooperation programs, TCM will be extended to more countries, and efforts will be made to foster a good international image, further help build a community of health for mankind, and benefit more countries and people.

(Source: Website of China Academy of Chinese Medical Science)