Doctors in the People’s Republic of China – an overview of medical practitioner regulations

Katarzyna Tymińska


The People’s Republic of China is a very big and diverse country with huge urban and rural populations. Providing such a number of people with even a basic healthcare coverage is challenging at the best of circumstances. This, combined with several thousand years of traditional medical practices, and a radical transformation the  country has been undergoing for the last forty years creates a varied regulatory landscape. In this article, the author presents selected regulations concerning Chinese medical practitioners and a brief history of medicine in China. It begins by presenting the historical background of medicine in China – from the ancient to modern  times. The historical part is followed by an overview of selected contemporary regulations on medical practitioners in the People’s Republic of China such as practitioners’ licensing, the role of Traditional Chinese Medicine, professional and tort liability of doctors. In this article, the author also presents the huge and resurgent influence of Traditional Chinese Medicine: its own separate Law, a path to full medical licence for TCM practitioners and the state placing it as a part of the larger health-care system.