04-28-2008 17:10

Tibetan medicine and pharmacology, with distinctive Tibetan characteristics, occupies an important position in traditional Tibetan culture, and forms a unique part of the treasure-house of Chinese medicine and pharmacology. However, there were only two medical organs in Tibet before 1959-the "Mantsikhang" (Institute of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology) and the "Chakpori Zhopanling" ( Medicine King Hill Institute for Saving All Living Beings) in Lhasa, the conditions at which were very simple and crude. They had a combined floor space of only 500 square meters for the outpatient clinics and a total staff of fewer than 50. They handled 30-50 outpatients a day, and mainly served the nobles, feudal lords and upper-strata lamas.

The state has allocated over 800 million yuan to promote the development of Tibetan medicine and pharmacology since Tibet carried out the Democratic Reform over 40 years ago, giving a great boost to this sector. At present, there are a total of 14 Tibetan medical institutions in Tibet, and over 60 county-level hospitals have established Tibetan medicine sections. In 1959, the working personnel involved in Tibetan medicine in Tibet numbered only 434, while in 1999 the number had increased to 1,071, including 61 chief physicians and associate chief physicians, 166 attending physicians and 844 resident physicians and doctors. The "Mantsikhang" and "Chakpori Zhopanling" have been amalgamated to become the Tibet Autonomous Regional Hospital of Tibetan Medicine, with a floor space of over 100,000 square meters and a staff of 438, of whom 290 are health technicians. The hospital has 250 beds and provides free medical care for the broad masses of the Tibetan people, receiving 230,000 outpatients annually. The hospital has set up outpatient and inpatient departments, a pharmaceuticals factory, and research institutes of Tibetan medicine, astronomy and the calendar. It has a department of medicine, surgical department, department of gynecology and obstetrics, tumor department, gastrointestinal department and department of pediatrics to cater to outpatients. In addition, it has set up more than 20 special outpatient departments, such as the department for disease prevention and health protection, oral hygiene department, ophthalmological department and department of external Tibetan therapeutic medicine, and some modern medical and technical departments such as the departments of radiation, ultrasonic wave examination, electrocardioscopy and gastroscopy.

The hospital has adopted the method of combining Western and Tibetan medicine to treat diseases, thereby enriching and developing Tibetan medical therapies and theories.

Due attention has been paid to scientific research and education concerning Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medical institutions at all levels are actively carrying out scientific research on Tibetan medicine, and have collected and collated nearly 100 related documents and monographs. New achievements have been made in studies relating to the history of Tibetan medicine, medical documents, pharmacological theories, medical ethics, the inheritance of the teachings of the masters, and Tibetan materia medica. Thirty-two monographs have been published, including the Four Medical Classics (Tibetan-Chinese bilingual edition), Blue Glaze, A Complete Collection of Wall Charts of the Four Medical Classics, Diagnostics of Tibetan Medicine, Newly Compiled Tibetan Medicaments and Biographies of Famous Tibetan Doctors. The College of Tibetan Medicine has trained 615 qualified personnel of various levels and categories since it was established 10 years ago. The production of Tibetan medicine has been put on a standardized, normalized and scientific administration track. The Tibetan Pharmaceuticals Factory of the Tibet Autonomous Region, one of a dozen similar factories in Tibet, has two production lines, turning out over 110 varieties of products and boasting an annual output value of 46.1 million yuan.

Tibetan medicine is now taking its place in the world, arousing the attention of international medical circles. Many foreign experts and scholars come to Tibet every year to study Tibetan medicine. Tibetan medicine and pharmacology has also been introduced to the United States, Britain and Germany, and some countries have sent students to Tibet to study Tibetan medicine.

With the development and progress of the times, the old science of Tibetan medicine and pharmacology is now full of vigor and vitality, playing an important role in improving the health conditions of the Tibetan people and bringing benefits to mankind as a whole.


Editor:Zhang Ning