Hungary's parliament amended the Health Act on Tuesday, opening the way for the Ministry of Human Resources to issue a decree that would allow doctors of traditional Chinese medicine to obtain permits to practice.
Until now the Ministry of Human Resources, which is responsible for the functioning of the national healthcare, was obliged to require that all medical practitioners have degrees equivalent to Hungarian ones.
If and when the ministry issues the decree, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine who have certificates from schools requiring at least five years of university-level study and who can prove that they have not been banned from practicing at home or in the last country where they worked will be able to apply for permits to practice in Hungary.
The new law authorizes the Scientific Council on Health to issue the permits. The degrees would not have to be recognized as equivalent to Hungarian diplomas since the law recognizes that Hungary has no equivalent to traditional Chinese medicine.
Thirteen permits to practice traditional Chinese medicine were granted in Hungary in 2003 when Peter Medgyessy was prime minister, but none have been issued since because of the equivalency requirement, which the new law now allows the ministry to bypass for practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine.
Yu Funian, Chair of the Hungarian Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, is one of the thirteen doctors who got permits to practice traditional Chinese medicine in Hungary. He told Xinhua that he was very glad and pleasantly surprised by the Parliament's decision. He said that this is an affirmation of the work done by all the practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine in Hungary.
Lajos Olah, a Member of Parliament, told Xinhua that the legislative proposal relating to traditional Chinese medicine was supported by the ruling and opposition parties. Traditional Chinese medicine is part of the Chinese culture, and in this area Hungary's "Eastern opening" policy should also be involved,he added.