Traditional Chinese Medicine has a role to play in chronic disease management in S’pore: Ong Ye Kung, Health News & Top Stories


SINGAPORE – Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a role to play in chronic disease management here and the Ministry of Health (MOH) will continue to support the sector, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said on Sunday (December 12th).

Speaking in Mandarin at an event at the Raffles City Convention Center to mark the 75th anniversary of the Singapore Chinese Physicians Association, Ong thanked all TCM associations and practitioners for their support and cooperation in the fight against Covid-19 over the past two years.

“As trusted care providers for your patients, you have been able to persuade and encourage your patients, especially the elderly, to receive the Covid-19 vaccines and booster. Every vaccination could be a lifetime saved, “he said.

Mr Ong added that while today’s biggest enemy is Covid-19, the rising incidence of chronic disease will always be a constant challenge in healthcare.

“When it comes to chronic disease, all doctors, whether Chinese, Indian or Western, know that prevention is better than cure. It means leading a healthy lifestyle, eating good food and staying happy and optimistic, ”he said.

A similar concept was already reflected over 2,000 years ago in the ancient Chinese medical text Emperor’s Canon Of Internal Medicine, which recommended a balanced diet and work-life balance, Ong said.

He added that it is necessary to recognize that TCM is a comprehensive body of medical knowledge and practice, with a history of several thousand years and an important part of Chinese cultural heritage.

Mr Ong pointed out that the Ministry of Health has already taken several steps to support the TCM sector, including two multi-million dollar grants launched previously.

In 2018, a $ 5 million grant was launched to support TCM clinics in modernizing their clinics and IT facilities, as well as continuing professional education, among others. In 2014, $ 8 million was pledged to support research collaborations between Western doctors and TCM practitioners.

Two working groups were also appointed this month to explore, among other things, how to improve clinical education for new practitioners.

Noting that Singapore now faces the threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, Mr. Ong added, “I hope to continue to rely on the support of the TCM community to overcome any challenges that may come our way. “