Center in Vladivostok to put focus on traditional medicine

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Center in Vladivostok to put focus on traditional medicine

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Lee Eung-se, center, and Valentine Shumatov, right, at Pacific State Medical University, which launched the Eurasian Traditional Medicine Department on June 19 in Russia. Provided by AKOM

Pacific State Medical University in Vladivostok officially launched the Eurasian Traditional Medicine Department on its campus on June 19. It is the first medical center jointly run by the Association of Korean Medicine (AKOM), a private agency, and a Russian organization.

The department is intended educate local Russian doctors about traditional Korean medicine and will also focus on the translation of traditional medical texts. The medical center also plans to eventually develop new drugs using traditional ingredients, which are naturally in abundance in Vladivostok’s Primorsky Krai.

“Oriental medicine is especially effective for patients’ rehabilitation,” said a professor at Pacific State Medical University who is slated to work in the center. “It will be a big help in reducing pain in cancer patients, especially since their numbers have increased recently.”

The school’s ultimate goal is to expand its business to Europe by combining Russia’s ample natural resources and industrial know-how and Korea’s expertise in traditional medicine.

Because Russia has a more intimate relationship with the European market, it will act as the primary liaison.

AMOK primarily chose to base the department in Vladivostok in the hopes that North Korean medical institutes will also join the program. However, while the center’s opening was a success, the extent to which North Korea will participate - if at all - remains unknown.

Before the center was inaugurated, the university asked the Goryeo Science Institute, the Communist state’s biggest medical institution, through the Russian Embassy in North Korea if it had any intention in participating.

The institution has yet to respond.

Nevertheless, positive results are expected, particularly considering the fact that Primorsky Krai is Russia’s closest inland area to North Korea and is more removed from Russia’s government.

The university is actively encouraging the cooperation of both Koreas.

“I will try to persuade Choi Deuk-yong, the president of Goryeo Science Institute, to attend the upcoming medical conference this September,” said Valentine Shumatov, the president of Pacific State Medical University.

In the meantime, Lee Eung-se, the 62-year-old secretary general of the International Society of Oriental Medicine, will serve as the department’s first president. He has led medical cooperation between the two Koreas since 2001.

Seong Yoon-su, the 33-year-old director general of AKOM, will act as the new medical center’s executive adviser. Seong previously lived in Moscow for five years as a teenager. He came to Korea in 1999, and graduated from the College of Oriental Medicine at Daejeon University. He was appointed AKOM’s director general in 2012.

Additionally, Kim Jung-rok, a Saenuri Party lawmaker in the National Assembly, and Choi Yeong-hun, an authority from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, both attended the Eurasian Traditional Medicine Department’s opening ceremony.

BY JEONG JONG-MUN, JO SOO-MIN [enational@joongang.co.kr]




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