Tue, Nov 13, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Overs 50s likely to favor traditional Chinese medicine

NATURAL APPROACH:Research has shown that elderly and middle-aged people in Taiwan are willing to spend up to NT$2,000 a month on healthy living

Staff writer, with CNA

Traditional Chinese medicine has great potential for the healthcare market among the middle-aged and senior citizens on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as many people in Taiwan and China hold the view that herbal remedies are “less harmful” than Western medicine, according to a local expert.

A majority of people on both sides of the Strait think Chinese medicine is better than Western medicine said Hubert Chih, a researcher at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI).

In China, nearly 80 percent of people aged over 50 years old consider Chinese medicine to be harmless, while the figure in Taiwan is 59 percent said Chih, citing the results of a survey conducted in June by the ITRI’s Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center.

Although most middle-aged and elderly people in Taiwan (90 percent) and China (82 percent) still go to a Western doctor when they need medical treatment, they tend to favor Chinese medicine when it comes to overall health and well-being, Chih said.

In Chinese culture, people tend to use either food or herbal medicine to improve their health, he said.

Taiwanese middle-aged and elderly people in Taiwan are willing to spend nearly NT$2,000 per month on health food, massages and diet supplements, while those in China spend more than NT$2,500, according to the survey results.

The survey was conducted in June through visits and street interviews with randomly selected people aged over 50.

A total of 4,800 valid samples were collected and the survey had a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

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