Traditional medicine targets stronger development by 2020. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi​ (VNA) – Developing traditional medicine in combination with modern health care practices is the top priority of the Vietnamese Party, State and the Ministry of Health.

Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien delivered the message at a teleconference in Hanoi on May 20 to review the five-year implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 2166/QD-TTg on Vietnam’s traditional medicine development plan by 2020.

The official urged participants at the event to assess difficulties hindering the actualisation of the document and propose solutions to traditional medicine development in the time to come.

Agencies and localities were asked to step up communications to raise public awareness of traditional procedure-based therapies, pay more heed to planting and processing traditional medicines, revamp their financial mechanisms and mobise resources for this type of medicine.

The network of traditional medicine has been consolidated and expanded nationwide with the number of traditional medicine hospitals expanding from 53 in 2010 to 58 in 2015, the teleconference heard.

Departments of traditional medicine have been established in hospitals and health clinics at all levels and the number of patients using the service has also increased significantly, especially in the southern provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Tay Ninh and Tra Vinh provinces, the central province of Thua Thien-Hue and Cao Bang province in the north.

However, limited budget and resources, and the lack of preferential policies are the major challenges to this alternative medicine.

During the 2016-2020 period, the health sector aims to create marked changes in traditional medicine development and combine traditional and modern pharmaceutical medicines to take care of public health.-VNA