10 October 2011
2,500-year-old medicine looks to Australia
China's largest Chinese Medicine hospital is backing Australian researchers to help provide better health outcomes for sufferers of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a growing international health problem - particularly in China - affecting millions of smokers, and is a focus of a new research agreement with RMIT University.
Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine and Guangdong Provincial Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences Research has signed a $2 million deal with RMIT's School of Health Sciences and Health Innovations Research Institute.
Professor Yu Bo Lu, President of the Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine and President of Guangdong Provincial Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences said RMIT was well recognised in China and also internationally for its excellence in Chinese Medicine research and education.
"The principal aims of our research collaboration are to develop the evidence base in order to inform clinical practice and provide better health outcomes for people throughout the world," he said.
RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Daine Alcorn, said current collaborations had led to multi-centre clinical trials of herbal medicines for COPD and acupuncture for allergic rhinitis.
"More clinical studies are expected and research exchanges under this agreement will provide a major contribution to the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Program within RMIT's School of Health Sciences, and the Health Innovations Research Institute," Professor Alcorn said.
Professor Charlie Xue, Head of School of Health Sciences and Director of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Research Program, said RMIT had been the largest provider of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) studies in Australia since 1993 and was committed to an evidence-based approach.
"TCM is a complete healthcare system with a 2,500-year history," he said. "Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on identifying and treating conditions affecting individual body systems and organs, TCM looks at the overall relationships between body systems and organs."
Professor Peter Coloe, RMIT Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Science, Engineering and Health, and Vice-President, said: "RMIT has made broad contribution to the evidence-based research in TCM and is now a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine."
From July 2012, national registration of Chinese Medicine as a primary health care profession will start under the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme.
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