Czech-Chinese medicine dance

Medicine sometimes snatches away health, sometimes gives it.
– Ovid


Center of Traditional Chinese Medicine was opened in Hradec Kralové’s University hospital in June 2015. Opening was in the presence of Chinese Vice-Prime Minister Liu Yandong, Czech and Chinese ministers of Health departments, and Hospital director Roman Prymula.
Big show.
Inauguration one year later was lead by the Chinese president Xi Jinping in personam.
Bigger show.

It all started in 2013, when the then minister of Health department Martin Holcát visited China along with two directors of University Hospitals Roman Prymula from Hradec Králové and Svatopluk Nemecek from Ostrava.
Prymula later told the press he never thought about any cooperation in the field of TCM, but when he came back to Czech rep. he was excited and he spoke about the plan to build a clinic focusing on TCM.
Things gained speed and political support, more visits in China took place, ten million euros was promised from CEFC, cooperation between Chinese and Czech Hospitals was negotiated, and voilà – two years later first centre of TCM in Central and Eastern Europe saw the light of the world.
Although some of Czech doctors protested (f.ex. Czech Doctors’ Chamber (CLK) President Milan Kubek).

O.K. Prymula – professor of medicine, former Dean of the Medical Faculty explained that Czech evidence based medicine will explore possibilities of enrichment western science of eastern knowledge. Science research? Nice idea. But only until TCM ambulance department was opened three months later. Alternative medicine under the auspices of a faculty hospital!

“It will help improve the health condition of Czech citizens” Prymula said.

TCM has the status of a independent department within University Hospital divided to two divisions – TCM ambulance and a Czech-Chinese Centre for Research into TCM. And the whole Center belongs under Hospital field of internal medicine!
Does it mean that now Czech doctors are practicing with acupuncture, cupping therapy and other alternative/pseudo-medicine based on faith rather than science?

Head doctor of the whole center of TCM František Musil performed on the TV show DVTV in interview where he said that the TCM “more than morphological and biochemical relationships focuses mainly on the energy side. Every organism has energy in itself, otherwise I would not be able to move hands, feet, …”
” … TCM enables smooth flow of energy.”
“…reservations against TCM stem from ignorance.”
Great. University Hospital treatment.

Another thing is use of Chinese herbal mixture.
No one outside Hospital knows which herbs are used, how much, or anything.
Director Prymula refused to answer to these questions.
It is just said (in Informed consent of the Center) that “Imported herbs are tested by accredited laboratories of the Health Institute, mainly for the presence of heavy metals.” One have to trust Chinese industry.
Easy, right?

To be fair – operating costs of Center were covered by sponsorship. By the strange Mixed Czech-Chinese Chamber of Mutual Cooperation, where some former Czech politicians found an asylum.

This is happening in situation, when about thirty nurses are missing in this hospital. Their deficiency is already at such degree that the surgical clinic is forced to close the thirty-bed department since December. Intensive care unit have limited operation, although the hospital offers 100,000 CZK (3.900 EUR) for new recruits in this specialization. The need for nurses is 15. Few nurses are also in regular bed wards.
“We are glad that we have money at least to operate.” said Zdeněk Tušl, deputy director.

When one come to TCM Center, Czech doctor will examine him in classical western medicine way and than some Chinese man (Wang Bo is not a doctor according to Czech laws) examine him in his way. Speaking in Chinese with interpreter.
But no not-doctor can practice in Czech hospital. The law is strict in that. So politicians came with personal exceptions.

08.06.2017 Czech Senate adopted an amendment to the law. An amendment about non-medical healthcare professions, which was needed. But there was a rider to it – the inclusion of a therapist and traditional Chinese medicine specialist among healthcare professionals.
The amendment passed easily, half of senators left senate building, the other half voted “yes”. No one was against this crooked law! (Except the deacons of the medical faculties, Jan Evangelista Purkyne Czech Medical Society, the Czech Medical Chamber and the Senate Medical Committee.)

Former Heath Minister Svatopluk Němeček after visiting China said about Czech-Chinese contract: “What really matters to the Chinese is the very last point of the contract – The Czech Republic should serve as a gateway for Chinese products to Europe, where registration of them has been successfully defended. However, if SUKL (Czech State Institute for Drug Control) will accept them, other drug institutes in Europe should accept them as well.”

Actual Health Minister Miloslav Ludvík has advocated the need for rules for Chinese medicine providers by not being able to validate the education, scope and quality of Chinese healers’ care offered.
According to plans, the education is to be provided due to the disagreement of medical faculties at the health and social faculty. The training program should be developed in cooperation with partner Chinese universities.

Situation is slightly different now – two senators came with a proposal for the repeal of the law. In their words:
“The Senate has granted Chinese medicine the status of a medical field, thus favoring Chinese healing versus other healing methods.”
These senators are also concerned that Chinese healers would benefit from a bachelor’s or a magistrate’s degree, and their services could be covered by health insurance companies.

The Senate will deal with their proposal in December.


Member of Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia & Czech Skeptics' Club Sisyfos, founding member of the Meaning of (Skeptical) Life podcast, secular humanist. Father of one new man. Television post-production by profession. And he is on BigPharma and Soros payroll.