KCA News & Media
|Oriental Medicine Practice-Related Disputes|
For the past seven years since April 1999, the Korea Consumer Protection Board (KCPB) has analyzed 115 redress cases involving oriental medicine and the results are described in the tables below.
[Table 1] Redress Cases Handled by Type of Treatment
Unit: Number ofCases (%)
[Table 2] Redress Cases Handled by Type of Accident
Unit: Number of Cases (%)
■ Toxic hepatitis caused by oriental medicine intake
Among 63 cases involving oriental medicine, nearly a majority of the cases (49.2%) related to relapses. The most frequent relapse was toxic hepatitis (22 cases) which destroys liver cells.
In regard to occurrences of toxic hepatitis, among 15 verified oriental medicine prescriptions, 7 contained 8 types of oriental medicine ingredients (ephedra, sulphate, ternate, etc.) designated by the Association of Korean Oriental Medicine as containing toxic substances. The AKOM categorizes 87 types of oriental medicine ingredients that contain toxic substances.
■ 42.9% of cases involving infections related to acupuncture & cupping
Among 28 medical disputes involving acupuncture and cupping, 12 cases (42.9%) were caused by infections. There is a likely risk for infection when receiving acupuncture and cupping treatment as it directly invades the body. Infections are easily caused by applying acupuncture or cupping while the patient still has on clothes or socks. However, there are currently no laws that regulate unsanitary treatment in oriental medicine.
■ Patients victimized due to lack of emergency care by oriental medicine hospitals
As for cases involving doctor’s negligence, 30.4% related to ‘inattentiveness’ followed by ‘insufficient explanation’ (28.7%) and ‘failure to admit patients at the right time or lack of cooperation with western hospitals’ (11.3%).
In a case where the oriental medicine doctor failed to provide sufficient information, he didn’t inform the patient on side effects or intake method which resulted in the patient continuing to take the medicine without realizing that symptoms were actually side effects.
Based on the above findings, KCPB proposed to the Ministry of Health and Welfare to ▲ designate & control oriental medicine ingredients that are toxic ▲ revise the Medical Practice Act related to preventing & control infections by oriental medicine hospitals and ▲ establish a cooperative system among emergency medical services within western & oriental hospitals to provide more effective treatment.
Furthermore, KCPB made a request to the Association of Korean Oriental Medicine to ▲ develop a guideline on hospital infection control & prevention ▲ provide long-term education on infection and provide accurate treatment and ▲ guidance for prescriptions.
Source: Consumer Dispute Settlement Department II
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