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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
J Korean Med. 2012;33(4): 17-25.
Perception of Traditional Medical Doctors on Policy Issues in Korea: Cooperation with Western Medicine, and the Demand and Supply of Practitioners
Dae Sun Huang, and Hyeun-Kyoo Shin
Herbal Medicine Evidence Based Medicine Research Team, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine
Corresponding Author: Hyeun-Kyoo Shin ,Tel: +82-42-868-9464, Fax: +82-42-868-9400, Email: hkshin@kiom.re.kr
Received: September 20, 2012;  Accepted: November 13, 2012.
ABSTRACT
Objectives: This study was conducted to explore the contemporary perception of traditional Korean medical doctors (TKMDs) on traditional Korean medicine (TKM) policies and issues.
Methods: A questionnaire that included traditional medicine policy- and treatment-related issues was sent to 130 TKM medical centers and 4,300 TKM local clinical offices in Korea, and received responses from total 648 TKMDs in 122 TKM medical centers and 465 TKM local clinical offices.
Results: Of the responding TKMDs, 40% believed that unification of Western and traditional medicines would benefit both modes of medical treatment, 67.6% were against allowing Chinese doctor certification to be effective in Korea through the Korea-China FTA (Free Trade Agreement), and 57.8% believed that the number of TKMDs should be reduced. We also found that 46.1% of TKMDs believed that more lectures on Western medicine would be needed in schools of TKM. Moreover, 87.5% of respondents regarded medical knowledge as necessary for treatment, and 49.4% believed National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine (NCCAOM) would be not necessary. TKMDs regarded governmental efforts as more vital than education in schools or individual efforts for enhancement of the traditional medical care market in Korea. To efficiently provide the advantages of complementary CAM, such as cost and safety, detailed research is required when policy is made.
Conclusions: The TKM industry must implement policies how the relationship with Western medicine can be better defined under the current dual medical system. On the issue of human resources, more research will be needed on the current policy, which serves to maintain the status quo by blocking the importation of Chinese practitioners and by reducing the number of new practitioners.
Keywords: Traditional Korean medicine | complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) | policy | relationship with Western medicine | traditional medical doctors | cooperative medical System
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