Medicine

People wearing face masks walk past a flower display dedicated to frontline healthcare workers during the Covid-19 pandemic in celebration of the upcoming National Day of the People's Republic of China, in Beijing on 29 September 2020. (Nicolas Asfouri/AFP)

China’s public healthcare system: Robust enough for 1.4 billion people?

David Ng goes over several key indicators in China’s healthcare system to see how China’s public healthcare system holds up. With medical advances driving up healthcare expenditure and a fast-ageing people, the most populous nation of the world has got its work cut out.
Robin Li, co-founder and chairman of Baidu.com Inc., poses during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on 23 January 2008. (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg News)

What happened to Baidu, once China's golden boy of innovation?

Wang Yanbo picks apart news of Baidu’s alleged plans to raise up to $2 billion over three years to invest in a biotech start-up, which would use AI technology to develop drugs and help diagnose diseases. Is this yet another example of business giants flailing into unchartered territory to seek new growth? Wasn’t China’s multi-billion dollar search market Baidu’s to harvest once Google ceased its Chinese operations in 2010 amid cyberattacks and censorship issues?
Appropriate stimulation of acupoints can help achieve harmony of qi, blood, yin and yang. But how does this work? (Internet)

Acupressure points and acupuncture: How does it work?

Is it true that by applying pressure at different points and parts of the body through needle acupuncture or acupressure massage, one’s health can improve? What is the logic behind this?
This picture taken on 30 April 2020 shows people wearing face masks, amid concerns of the Covid-19 coronavirus, practising Tai Chi at a park in Beijing. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

The TCM way to staying healthy amid the pandemic

Anticipating a long-drawn-out fight against Covid-19, Prof Goh Chye Tee says it is now more important than ever, to strengthen one’s immune system. In the language of traditional Chinese medicine,  that means getting “vital qi” or the body’s means to fight diseases, to surpass “evil qi” or pathogenic elements.  
A health worker takes the temperature of a woman amid concerns over the Covid-19 coronavirus, at an entrance of the Pyongchon District People's Hospital in Pyongyang, 1 April 2020. (Kim Won Jin/AFP)

Chinese academic: Can North Korea’s healthcare system survive the pandemic?

For a long time, North Korea has maintained that it has no confirmed cases of the coronavirus, despite some reports suggesting otherwise. Whatever the truth of the matter, a closer look at how North Korea’s medical system is structured and run will give us an idea of its capacity to withstand crises such as epidemic outbreaks. Chinese academic Shang Yongmei delves into the details.
Traditional Chinese medicine has its believers and detractors. (Hedy Khoo/SPH)

Western medicine or Chinese medicine? China's TCM regulations spark debate

TCM treatment is said to have played a role in the fight against Covid-19 in China. The Beijing authorities recently sought public views on a set of proposed regulations on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which includes articles that mention punishments for those who “defame and slander” TCM. A furore ensued as the public worried about the expansiveness of the proposed law. Oxford University visiting researcher Hayson Wang thinks hard about what lies at the nub of the issue and what TCM proponents must do to bring TCM practice into the mainstream.
In this photo taken on 26 May 2020, a traditional Chinese medicine staff is making a presciption used to remove dampness in the body at the affiliated hospital of Changchun University of Chinese Medicine in Jilin, China. (Zhang Yao/CNS)

The TCM way to Covid-19: Treat the body, not the virus

Professor Goh Chye Tee from Nanyang Technological University explains the treatment protocols recommended by the Chinese authorities in using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remedies in the treatment of Covid-19. He posits that one path to health can be a person-centric approach, where the focus lies on restoring balance in the body, rather than the virus that is making the attack.
Dr Li Yan, intensive care physician at the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of the Xuanwu Hospital affiliated to the Capital Medical University in Beijing.

Wuhan lockdown doctor and her story battling the Covid-19 pandemic

Dr Li Yan, one of 40,000 medical workers across the country who served in Wuhan, was one of the speakers at a webinar organised by the Beijing People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Beijing NGO Network for International Exchanges and the Beijing Medical Women's Association on 13 May. Moved by her testimony, former VRT (Flemish Radio and Television broadcaster) journalist Ng Sauw Tjhoi requested to do an interview with her. Prior to leaving her family behind for the first time to take part in such a volunteer mission, Dr Li has been an intensive care physician in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Department of the Xuanwu Hospital affiliated to the Capital Medical University in Beijing for 18 years. The below is the transcript of their video interview, conducted via Zoom.
The world is waiting for a coronavirus vaccine. (Dado Ruvic/REUTERS/illustration photo)

Covid-19 vaccine: Who will win the race?

The race for a vaccine for Covid-19 has begun, with the US and China in the lead with clinical trials and testing. Oxford University visiting researcher Hayson Wang points out that countries will have to work together in order to develop an effective vaccine, rather than compete against one another.