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Hong Kong Hospital Authority is right to back Chinese medicine as flu treatment

The flu outbreak has caused considerable stress on the health care system, and in response to this the Hospital Authority recommended Chinese medicine as one of the service options. Paul Stapleton expressed doubts about the appropriateness of such a recommendation (“Can Chinese medicine really deal with flu?” July 28), but we would like to offer an alternative view from an evidence-based perspective.

Effectiveness of Chinese herbal medicine in managing influenza has been proven in randomised controlled trials (RCTs), the gold standard primary study design for treatment evaluation in the evidence-based health care paradigm.

A systematic review of existing RCTs has shown that combined use of selected Chinese herbal medicines with oseltamivir, the main conventional treatment, is superior to.......

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