PROFILE：YANG CHUNGUI: STRIVING FOR CHINESE ACUPUNCTURE DOCTORS TO ENTER SWEDISH MEDICAL SYSTEM AND BETTER SERVE THE PATIENTS
By Xuefei Chen Axelsson
STOCKHOLM, June 9(Greenpost)—The 71st World Health Assembly was held in Geneva Switzerland during May 21-26. With the invitation of Liu Baoyan, President of the World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies, Yang Chungui attended the Assembly as an observer.
Yang Chungui, President of Acupuncture Science Association in Sweden was earlier this year elected as EC Member of the 9th Executive Committee at the 9th General Assembly of World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies(WFAS) for five years.
Green Post has considered to have an exclusive interview with Yang long time ago, but he has always said to wait and see for some time later. Now time is ripe for such an interview with President Yang.
A total of 4000 delegates from 194 member states attended the assembly themed in Health Throughout the Life Course. The Assembly is held in May every year to deliberate the Director General of WHO’ s work report, budget report and accepting new members. At the opening on May 21, the Assembly first discussed the proposal put up forward by the so-called 15 friendly Federal States to invite Taiwan as observer to attend the Assembly and after heated discussion, the Assembly rejected this proposal as a topic to discuss at the Assembly.
The Assembly discussed the theme that everyone should enjoy health protection and health insurance should cover everybody. President Yang Chungui submitted a document on Promoting Swedish Acupuncture Legislation letting more patients enjoy traditional Chinese Medicine Care. The document illustrated that Sweden is a high welfare country. The citizen will get free medical care after they pay 1100 kronor for diagnosis and 2200 for medicine. After that, all the cost will be covered by the government.
Chinese acupuncture has been practising in 183 countries and regions, more and more Swedish patients accepted the Chinese acupuncture and pay by themselves. The patients realized that western medicine has high-tech support, but the system is too divided into many different divisions, patients feel they don’t get holistic diagnosis and treatment. Patients often felt tired, but the physical examination can’t find anything abnormal. Many patients suffer from various pain and depression. Even though they used a lot of medicine, the pain and depression can’t go away easily. There are currently 240 Chinese medicine clinics in Sweden. Every year about 400 thousand people receive treatment of pain and depression by acupuncture. Thus to promote acupuncture legislation will be conducive to most of patients.
Yang Chungui said WFAS pays great attention to the acupuncture development in Sweden by establishing Chinese Acupuncture Education Base in Stockholm in order to strengthen international acupuncture doctors education work, in accordance with the WFAS’ requirement and implement Swedish National Health and Welfare Committee’s provisions on patients diaries and diagnosis records. If Chinese acupuncture clinics can be on the same track as the Swedish medicare system, no doubt, it will bring much more choices for patients and bring more livelihood for patients. That will give acupuncture more development space in Sweden as well as Nordic countries.
During the Assembly, Yang also exchanged ideas in legislation on acupuncture in Sweden so that the Chinese Acupuncture doctors and their clinics can also enter the Swedish medicare system with Johan Carlsson, Director General of WHO，and Swedish Director General for Public Health Agency. Yang argued that this will be conducive to the Swedish patients who are suffering from pain and depression. Yang called for support of legislation on acupuncture by Swedish Public Health Agency.
Dr. Yang was born in a family with traditional Chinese medicine. He used to study in Guangming Chinese Medical Institute as an adult student and also be trained biomedicine in Capital Medical University. He loved martial arts as a child and recognized a lot of herbal medicines. As a child, he was interested in acupuncture and tried to do acupuncture on his own hands, arms and legs. Then he tried that on his classmates. When it proved to be useful, he always kept a small acupuncture bag with him. Like many other Chinese men at his age, Yang also joined the People’s Liberation Army for a couple of years. He also loved exercise of Kungfu.
He can exercise Taiji very well while he practises acupuncture. He would stand with a Taiji gesture. This is not only good for himself as exercise, but also good for patients. Due to “cultural revolution”, he missed a lot of time for studying. Therefore，he chose to work in a hospital as an equipment worker, and he always modestly learnt from experts and made progress day by day. He had access to advanced western medical instrument and got to know about them. This also reminded him of using modern Chinese medical equipment now.
Yang’s Chinese medicine practice includes a lot of elements in traditional Chinese culture. He is very kind and polite to people. He is also modest and understands the patients psychology quickly. He said many patients felt sick but not really physically sick. They are sometimes psychologically sick. To be healthy means you are both physically and mentally healthy. If the doctor can treat the patient with good attitude and introduce Chinese treatment method, it will help the patients to adjust their emotions and alleviate the pain. Sometimes he prescribed food treatment for some patients such as eating dumplings with special fillings and special chicken soup. In ancient China’s Han Dynasty, famous doctor Zhang Zhongjing in central China prescribed to many patients just to eat dumplings for a week and they all recovered very well. In fact those people were sick because of hunger. Yang uses both medicine and needles for treatment while giving good care to the patients.
Yang came to Sweden in 1998 and he registered Kinesisk Hälsovård 1999 and he has devoted himself to the treatment of pain and depression with both Chinese and western medicine.
Due to their unremitting efforts, the first and second WFSA Belt and Road Acupuncture Summit were held on August 27, 2016 and November 25, 2017 respectively.
Over 100 delegates from China, the United States, Sweden and other European countries gathered together in Stockholm to discuss acupuncture techniques with several different methods. They also conducted voluntary treatment during the summit. His association also conducted international acupuncture proficiency test and issued certificates.
In March 2017, the first group of acupuncture doctors won their proficiency certificates. On April 21, 2018, the second group of international acupuncture doctors won their proficiency certificates. Yang said that to better conduct diagnosis and treatment and improve their treatment level according to the disease, Chinese acupuncture doctors should set up diagnosis report in combination with Chinese and western way so that the patients can get a treatment with both east and west method.
As one of the most popular methods to treat patients, Acupuncture was approved by Swedish Health sector in 1984. It was also approved to treat many diseases except pain as long as they have clinic experiences. But many patients have to pay themselves to see Chinese doctors because the private clinic has not been accepted by the Swedish medical system. Chinese acupuncture doctors cannot work in the Swedish medical system due to language and other reasons. Thus a lot of experienced Chinese doctors can only work in private clinics. Many patients gave up treatment due to short of money. Thus we hope Chinese medicine can also be included in the Swedish medical care system so that more patients can benefit from it. Acupuncture science Association in Sweden led by Yang is striving for this goal.
Yang’s efforts have won commend from colleagues. Doctor Li Jian told reporter that as long as you seriously work for members, it will have result. Dr. Yang has been working so hard but didn’t calculate his contribution.
In 2017 acupuncture summit, President Yang announced that Swedish Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Education Base was established. It was also announced that the international acupuncture doctor examination committee was established in order to raise more acupuncture doctors.
Meanwhile, Yang’s Acupuncture Chinese Medicine–Research Institute was also founded and experts Liu Baoyan and Wu Hanqing, Liao Fulong and Tang Zuyi were long term invited as experts. They also include Reiijo Pöyhöne and Zhang Dongqing.
Led by Yang Chungui, Yang’s Swedish Acupuncture Chinese Medicine Research Institute conducts acupuncture related research. This year, it has invited Guohao Law Firm as long term legal consultant.
Up to present, World Acupuncture Federation has completed its organizational structure in Sweden. Acupuncture Science Association in Sweden functions as an academic exchange organization, Yang’s Swedish Acupuncture Chinese Medicine Academy functions as a practicing and application organization and Swedish Chinese Health Center functions as the education base for Chinese medicine and acupuncture examination.
Yang said to promote the development of“Belt and Road Chinese Medicine in Sweden is a great cause, he is just one of the doctors that drive this cause. In fact, many doctors including Liao Rong, Ma Xuehong, Zhang Dongqing, Zhang Hongxia,Lin Defeng, Li Jian, Yang Xi, Yukio Danisman, Lin Youji, Chen Tiejun, Åse Haglund, Joakim Hagström and Xu Tie contribute to this cause.
“This has been the joint efforts by many people. We are going to continue to strive for Chinese acupuncture doctors practice to enter the Swedish medical system and better serve the patients.”
Text /photo Xuefei Chen Axelsson