The evaluation of professional divisions of traditional Chinese medicine in Taiwan through patient visit records of 2012

Ta Peng Wu, Cheng Hung Tsai, Yu Ting Su, Chu Chiao Wang, Tzeng Ji Chen, Ching Mao Chang, Fang Pey Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

For decades, professional divisions have been represented as the main structural divisions in Western medicine throughout the world. In Taiwan, medical policymakers are also interested in designing professional divisions of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Therefore, this study evaluated the current status and potentiality of professional divisions of TCM in Taiwan using data from the year 2012 obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Database; the database provides information regarding age and gender of TCM physicians (TCMPs); total visit counts; contracted medical institution codes; groupings of diseases classified under International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes; numbers of children and female patients seeking treatment; and claim disposition codes used by each TCMP. The results indicated that there were 5522 TCMPs in 2012, and 4876 (90.3%) TCMPs practiced in primary clinics. The proportions of pediatric visits to these TCMPs were mostly below 0.2, and acupuncture or traumatology-related visit proportions were below 0.5. Only a few of the studied Taiwan-based TCMPs practiced gynecology and pediatrics, but most of them performed “internal medicine”, or “acupuncture” or “traumatology” treatments. Thus, the number of TCM specialists practicing gynecology or pediatrics is insufficient, indicating that a policy that forms professional divisions of TCM practitioners in Taiwan should be reconsidered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1992
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume15
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • National Health Insurance
  • Professional divisions
  • Traditional Chinese medicine

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