Unqualified medicine in the media
Healthcare related television programmes go astray in China
Health and wellness have suddenly become hot topics on Chinese television shows. Most television stations now have their own distinctive health related programmes. There are several reasons for this development.
Firstly, with socioeconomic improvement, Chinese people are aware of the importance of health and eager for more scientific information.1 Secondly, television remains the main media for the public to obtain entertainment and information, representing an important, authorised source of knowledge about health. Programmes featuring ways of preventing and treating disease have high viewing figures. However, such programmes fuel public hunger for medical knowledge and simultaneously promote public disappointment in the medical profession.
Health related television programmes in mainland China mainly cover the following three aspects: food therapy, behaviour therapy, and traditional Chinese medicine and herbal therapy. Mostly, they have identical formats: talks by invited “specialists.”
Some of these specialists are experts from hospitals affiliated to medical schools. Usually with official