Existing Circumstances of Acupuncture-Moxibustion in the Philippines
I. National Policies of Traditional Medicine
Health Ministry of the Philippines has a six-year national project concerning traditional medicine(t.r.), whose subordinate ministry built a department of traditional medicine to integrate t.r. into national health system in support of WHO in 1993. The president signed a bill of traditional and alternative medicine in 1997 to improve quality of medical care by developing traditional and alternative medicine and integrating into national health system. It also established Philippine research institute of traditional and alternative medicine.admitted the legitimacy of t.r. or integrated medicine, the next step is to promote legislation concerning acupuncture-moxibustion. WFAS Certificate for International Acupuncture-Moxibustion Practitioner has gained official approval of Department of Traditional or Alternative Medicine at present, whose owners can exchange for medical license in Philippines.
II. Existing Circumstances of Practitioners and Legislation
The Philippines has 25 thousand practitioners of traditional medicine but there is no private hospital provides traditional or alternative medical service. Only few governmental hospitals provides acupuncture-moxibustion to the public according to a survey in 1999. Traditional midwives only exist legitimately where doctors and admitted midwives don’t.
Having faith in TCM, Philippine Overseas Chinese( Chinese make up 58% of total population of Manila) have a great need for TCM medical service, which the government has to acquiesce. Chinese Chamber of Commerce has 26 medical pharmacies in Manila with quite complete drugs including TCM decoction pieces and Chinese patent medicine imported from Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong kong, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.