Italy's health minister said she would do more to promote traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in her country and within the EU.
Livia Turco said in an interview with China Daily yesterday: "Italy will issue licenses to TCM practitioners in the near future."
TCM treatment is an effective and necessary alternative to Western medicine in Italy, Turco said.
"It is in our common interest to promote TCM among our people and to have registered TCM practitioners. TCM will provide new medical treatments to people in Italy as well as in other parts of the world."
The popularity of ancient Chinese medical treatments has increased in Italy in recent years, she said. "A lot of Italians have received TCM treatment."
However, doctors in Italy who practice TCM still work on temporary licenses, and the country has not yet developed standards or regulations for its practice, the minister said.
To meet the growing interest in Chinese medicine, universities in Rome, Milan and Florence are offering postgraduate courses in TCM.
The one-year course includes a 60-day internship at Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and their degrees will be recognized in China after they pass the examinations.
Turco said she would push for the commercialization of TCM drugs in the European market. She made these comments as she inaugurated a laboratory for TCM medication in north China's Tianjin on Tuesday.
(China Daily January 18, 2007)