Urge BC Ministry of Health Approval of TCM in Fight Against COVID-19 (请省卫生厅批准中医参与抗新冠肺炎行动)

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic spreads across Canada since March 1, 2020. Due to the increased number of confirmed cases each day and the high infection rate of this disease, it is causing chaos and endangering lives of many Canadians. The federal government has issued orders attempting to contain this outbreak which has changed the ways Canadians interact socially and economically. In BC, both the provincial and the municipal government have declared the state of emergency.

But the containment for COVID-19 has yet to see the plateau on the infection curve and the number of confirmed cases continuous to grow exponentially.  The BC Ministry of Health, due to the health and safety bylaws and regulations, has not supported the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture in the fight against COVID-19, even though there are many reports of success of TCM and Acupuncture intervention from China, Italy, and other countries.  Because the graveness of the situation, we, on behalf of the TCM and Acupuncture communities in BC, urge the BC Ministry of Health to consider expanding the role of TCM and Acupuncture professionals to support the fight against COVID-19 for the following reasons:

新冠肺炎(COVID-19)疫情在加拿大多地爆发蔓延,形势日益严峻,对民众的生命安全和身体健康构成严重威胁,引起了民众的极大恐慌,BC省政府已经宣布进入紧急状态。目前新冠肺炎疫情尚未有效控制,感染者快速增加。由于种种原因,BC省卫生厅未能批准中医中药针灸介入抗击疫情行动,鉴于此,BC 省中医针灸界同仁及社会各界,共同呼吁省卫生厅慎重考虑,尽早批准中医中药针灸介入抗击新冠肺炎的行动。理由如下:

1.   Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture has accumulated thousands of years of clinical knowledge and treatment methodologies fighting against epidemic diseases

With over thousands of years of clinical experience of combating infectious diseases, TCM and Acupuncture has formed a complete theoretical system and clinical treatment methodologies. This wealth of knowledge has continuously been evolved and documented, provides fundamental basis to address infectious diseases encountered such as SARS in 2003 or COVID-19 that is currently wrecking havoc across the globe in 2020. 

1.  中医有着数千年抗击疫病的实践经验。
数千年来,中医积累了丰富的抗击各种疫病的实践经验,总结形成了一整套的理论体系和治疗方法,自古以来,这一理论体系和治疗方法在抗击一个又一个疫病的过程中不断丰富和完善,在临床上取得了比较明显的疗效,无论是2003年的SARS,还是当前的新冠肺炎,中医在与西医的紧密配合中都发挥了积极作用。

2.   Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture has its unique advantage when combating newly discovered infectious diseases.

TCM’s treatment principles are based on balancing functions of a human body not exterminating viruses.  Thus, it has distinctive advantages to be able to address newly encountered diseases when vaccines are not available. According to the clinical reports released by the medical expert teams in Wu Han, China, integration of Western Medicine together with TCM and Acupuncture has been evaluated as the best treatment strategy against COVID-19.  Using modalities such as Chinese herbal formulas, acupunctures, or other forms, the medical expert teams in China had demonstrated TCM and Acupuncture to relieve and to mitigate the symptoms caused by COVID-19; thereby, preventing the disease from mild stage to progress further into severe/critical stage.  The medical expert teams reported shorten recovery period, better body reconditioning in the recovery stage, and declined mortality rate.  In addition, not only is the cost of the TCM and Acupuncture treatment are way less than the cost for the Western Medical treatment, because of its high treatment efficacy for patients with mild symptoms, it reduced the number of patients having to visit the hospitals, saving more medical resources for patients in severe/critical stage.  Thus, incorporating TCM and Acupuncture as part of the treatment strategies will lessen the strain of the BC medical health system.

2.  中医对抗击新冠肺炎疫情具有独特优势。
中国抗击新冠肺炎疫情的经验表明,中西医结合,中医药早介入、参与度高,可以减缓疫情的发展;中药、针灸等治疗方法可以缓解新冠肺炎症状,减少轻症型、普通症型向重症型发展,可以提高治愈率,降低死亡率,促进机体康复。中医中药针灸治疗简单,费用低廉,可以缓解日益紧缺的医疗资源,大幅降低医疗费用。

3.     Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture compliment Western Medicine in this epic fight against COVID-19.

Specific medication for COVID-19 is yet to be available and the research for effective vaccine for this novel virus is also still months or years away from being approved.  Even though there are several anti-viral medications may help, the current options from the hospital are mostly symptoms suppression and supportive therapies.  The one and only best cure is the patient’s self immune system.  TCM, on the other hand, can compliment with the hospital treatment options to optimize the protective mechanism to fight this deadly disease.  Based from the evidence from China’s battle with COVID-19, integration of Western Medicine together with TCM and Acupuncture will be the best options for BC. 

3.  不论西医还是中医,新冠肺炎是我们的共同敌人。
面对重大疫情,不论中医、西医,应取长补短共同挽救生命。对于新冠肺炎,医学上目前尚无“特效药”,疫苗还在研制过程中,只能对症治疗和支持性治疗,患者康复主要依靠自身的免疫力。我们借鉴中国的经验,中西医联合抗疫,无疑是最佳的选择,希望我们以最小的代价,去赢取抗疫战争的早日胜利!

4.   Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture interventions are the best treatment options in BC for patients either in quarantine or in the recovery stage.

Due to the shortage of the test kits, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital beds, and hospital staff, not every presumptive case can be treated in the hospital. Patients with mild COVID-19 symptoms are asked to isolate themselves and do self-care at home. This is the best time for TCM intervention. Although subjected to the rules of social distancing, the TCM and Acupuncture professionals, utilizing tele-medicine approach via either telephone, video conferencing or other virtual remote tools, are be able to perform TCM diagnosis and prescribe herbal formulas. This treatment will relieve the COVID-19 symptoms and to inhibit the disease from further progressing into severe/critical stage.  When patients are recovering, TCM and Acupuncture professionals can also re-condition the patients’ health and shorten their recovery times. By approving TCM and Acupuncture to intervene this infectious disease when it is at mild stage will reduce the number of hospital visits to prevent overloading of the BC health care system. 

4.  居家隔离的患者和康复者是中医介入治疗主要对象。
目前个体经营是BC省中医针灸师的主要服务形式,受防护装备等各种客观条件限制,仍无法参与医院的救治行动,但是以电话、视频等远程诊断方式,服务居家隔离的疑似患者、确诊患者,以及重症出院的康复患者,依然大有可为。此举既可以让患者得到及时治疗,防止轻症向重症发展;又可以让重症出院的患者继续得到更好的康复治疗;更可以大大节省医院的医疗资源和医疗费用,减少甚至避免对医院医疗资源的挤兑。

5. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture have a broad base of acceptance by the BC public.

BC, as the first province to regulate TCM and Acupuncture as a medical health profession, has accumulated significant number of British Columbians depending on it to improve their health and their quality of life. The treatment methodologies such as acupuncture, herbal formula, gua sha, cupping or moxibustion are familiar to many British Columbians. Therefore, we believe offering TCM and Acupuncture for COVID-19 patients with either mild symptoms or in the recovery stage will gain acceptance that allows us, TCM and Acupuncture professionals, to contribute our part helping the BC medical health system to regain control of this epidemic disease.

5.  中医中药针灸在BC省有着比较广泛的民众基础。
BC省华人众多,也是最早中医针灸立法的地区之一,中医中药针灸在各种疾病的治疗中的接受程度比较高,越来越多族裔的民众认可中医中药针灸的疗效,因此在各族裔社区推广中医中药针灸抗击疫病,相对容易,这对BC省争取早日控制疫情必将发挥积极的作用。
 

With the approval from the BC Ministry of Health, we, the TCM and Acupuncture professionals in BC, will take on this challenge to mobilize our resources, develop provincial-wide treatment protocols, and to organize number of medical treatment teams to meet the needs of the COVID-19 patients in quarantine and in the recovery stage. We will also invite the members of the TCM medical expert teams working at the front line during the outbreak in Wu Han, China to provide consultations and to share experiences to overcome this challenging time.

Therefore, we plead to organizations, communities, unions, government departments, and all the British Columbians, to please support this noble cause to advocate the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture to serve the BC public to the fight with this pandemic. By utilizing all weapons against COVID-19 - we know we can beat it!

一旦获得省卫生厅的批准,我们将迅速组建中医中药针灸的医疗队伍,从诊断、治疗到服务,将有组织、成系统地展开抗疫行动。与此同时,我们将邀请中国抗疫一线的临床中医专家,组建提供技术支持的顾问团队。

在此,恳请一直以来支持中医、受惠于中医的社会各界、三级政要、社会名流、各个社团,对本次呼吁活动给予大力支持,为了早日战胜疫情、为了你我的生命------而共同努力!
 

Home of Canadian TCM Society 加拿大中医之家
Mar. 29, 2020