Tibet Foundation

Speech of the Yushu Tibetan Hospital Director

Oct 5, 2016

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Mr Tsewang Gyamtso delivered a speech at our annual Tibet Foundation Day. Read it here.

Speech of the Yushu Tibetan Hospital Director 

Tibet Foundation Day - 14th November 2016

(Translation from Tibetan to English by Tsering D Gonkatsang)


Mr Tsewang Gyamtso travelled from Yushu to join us for our annual event, Tibet Foundation Day. He delivered a speech on how the Yushu Mentsikhang has been rebuilt and redeveloped following the 2010 earthquake, with the aid of Tibet Foundation. Below is the speech that was given.


Tashi Deleg! I’m Tsewang Gyamtso, Director of the Yushu Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute in Qinghai Province.

On my personal behalf and on behalf of our delegation and the people of Yushu, we would like to say ‘Tashi Deleg’ to all the most honoured Guests, Trustees and Members and Supporters of Tibet Foundation, UK, gathered here tonight.

Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai Province is a large, pristine region of lush green grasslands, water bodies, fresh air and a rich treasury of all aspects of Tibetan culture. Such a rich and favourable natural environment has helped lay a firm foundation for the development and enrichment of the ancient science and practice of Tibetan medicine and astrology.

The first modern and foundations of the Yushu Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute was laid in the year 1983, with an outdoor patient’s clinic covering 500 square meters. Ever since, the TMAI has grown bigger, and developed further into a large complex with many different facilities to cater to the health needs of the local population.

However, unfortunately, on April 10, 2010, at about 7:48 PM in the morning, a massive earthquake measuring 7.49 on the Richter Scale, struck the centre of Yushu township, and caused unprecedented death and destruction, as you all knew. Economically, culturally and in terms of human lives lost, it was a great disaster. Our Medical Centre, too, didn’t escape the catastrophe and suffered almost total destruction.

Destructions caused. A Tibetan man makes phone calls to his relatives at his destroyed house after an earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai province April 16, 2010. (Image Source: Reuters/Stringer and Getty Images) 


However, in order to provide emergency relief aid after the earthquake disaster, with the approval and permission of the Party and the Government of China, and with approval from the State Council, Mr Phuntsog Wangyal, the founding Trustee of Tibet Foundation, visited Yushu soon after the earthquake in June 2010 and with the support and

cooperation of the staff and health workers of the Tibetan Medical Institute, made concerted efforts to provide emergency relief to the most needy, delivering Tsampa, butter, cheese, tea, and clothing to the victims of the earthquake.

Furthermore, our health workers organized relief efforts and emergency medical aid to treat victims who had suffered broken bones and other severe damages, infectious diseases, flu prevention and treatment, rejuvenation infusions for the physically weak according to Tibetan medical formulae, such as Sngon bzhi thang, Stabs seng brgyad pa, Lo gyon ma, Norbu Bdun-thang, etc.worth over RMB 17,0000 were distributed for free. These benefitted the sick and injured immensely and saved the lives of countless people. These conspicuous contributions beyond the call of duty were recognized and appreciated by the higher Government authorities as well as the members of the public, and the medical relief program was accorded number one priority for a repeat of relief aid and medical camps within that very year.

Tibet Foundation sends relief convoy to aid Yushu earthquake victims in 2010.


Following the earthquake disaster, the Government allocated over RMB 58 million in aid money for reconstruction of the Yushu Tibetan Medical Institute. With detailed planning, architectural design etc. the reconstructed Medical Institute has steadily grown into a large complex with three blocks containing many facilities such as multi-storied patient’s wards, walk in patient’s treatment Centre, and centre for compounding medical pills and potions. These blocks cover a total area of 13,000 square meters. The new Tibetan Medical & Astrological Centre has taken a new direction with the brand new buildings and far better facilities and services than ever before.

Yushu Tibetan Hospital fully rebuilt with wings for in and out patients and manufacturing herbal medicine.


There are now medical wards for patients to remain longer for treatments, medical treatment clinics, pharmacopeia, and library for the archival collection of old Tibetan medical texts. Besides, there are traditional chapels for worship, medicinal pill processing centre, medicine exhibition centre, and a well-stocked library.

For the overnight stay block, there are beds for 150 patients. The Medical & Astro Centre includes a national level clinics specializing in liver disease and a medicinal bath unit. And under the General Hospital are liver unit, cardiac unit, neurology, women’s disease, and a unit for health for longevity.

In the support, there are clinic units for examination, Byed nus khang? and Chemical and drugs laboratory, X-ray unit and pharmacopeia. In addition to the medicine processing plant, there is collection of herbs, grounding room, (bsdu sbyor tshan pa), medicinal pills room, medicine packaging section, all of which are fully operational and serving the community.

Founding trustee of Tibet Foundation, Mr Phuntsog Wangyal with Dr Phubu and other doctors and health workers in Yushu in 2013 and recent Yushu Tibetan Prefecture (Image Source: Himasoku)


All these achievements are due to the good policies of the Government, like rays of the sun shining over the victims of the earthquake. Here, I would like to express our deepest thanks of appreciation to the Government for the large scale economic aid for the infrastructure re-development of Yushu in general, and in particular, by recognizing, valuing and helping to promote the ancient Tibetan medical system.

On our part, we are firmly resolved to rededicate ourselves to the further promotion and expansion of the ancient heritage of our ancestors. We’ve never ceased our efforts in the past, and in the future, too, we are going to redouble our efforts to make progress in the future.

Therefore, from 2015 onwards, our Tibetan Medical & Astro Centre has been upgraded to the status of National Level 2 Medical Centre. The benefits of this upgrade has been to get enhanced funding to improve and expand our medical treatment, public health & hygiene, medical research, medical college, pharmacy unit for Tibetan herbal medicines.

As a result of these above mentioned developments, expansion and progress, today our Yushu Tibetan Medical & Astro Centre is able to provide much needed health services to the patients in the Kyegu-do (aka Yushu) region of Dril-da Zilmo-gung, one of the three major plateaus of Dhokham region.

Between 2010-2015, with the express approval of the United Front Works Department of the Party, the UK based charity Tibet Foundation has organized four, three-month intensive Workshops for Tibetan bare-foot doctors from the six Counties of Yushu prefecture at a total cost of RMB 1,100,000 (approximately GB £ 110,000).

The aims of these Workshops are to, ultimately, help alleviate the suffering of the patients, to encourage the preservation and promotion of the unique Tibetan medical system. So far, in the last four years, we have successfully trained 250 practising Tibetan physicians, both men and women, by inviting some of the most senior and experienced Tibetan

medical doctors from other Medical centres to teach and share their knowledge and skills.

Our own Tibetan doctors ran intensive courses on the fundamental theoretical topics of the Four Root Tantras of Tibetan Medical Practice such as Revitalization of the three medical humours of the body (bile, wind and phlegm), physical anatomy, diagnosis, treatment of internal diseases, fever, the 5 vital organs (- heart, liver, kidney, spleen, lungs) and 6 hollow organs (stomach, small intestine, large intestine, gall bladder, and reproductive organs).

Classroom lessons were followed by clinical training and practice such as Tar-ga (drawing bad blood with a needle in the nadi), moxibustion, identification of various medicines (pharmacopeia), health of mother and child, compounding herbal and mineral constituents of Tibetan medicine, and general health care etc. The teaching staffs have shared their learning, knowledge, experience, insights and practical skills to the trainees as best as possible during the 3-month Workshops organized in the last four years.

To encourage maximum participation by the local bare-foot doctors, Tibet Foundation and the Tibetan Medical & Astro Institute have also provided all requisite facilities and amenities such as students health-care during the three months, travel and maintenance costs, medical equipment and accessories such as stethoscope, blood pressure checking kit, uniforms, and so on. This totally free service has attracted a large number of trainees who worked most diligently during their course and returned better informed, educated, trained and experienced in serving patients in their home Counties.

So, the people of Kyegu-do Yushu) as well as the concerned authorities are all highly appreciative of these Workshops funded by Tibet Foundation, UK and run by Yushu Tibetan Medical & Astro Centre. The fifth and final Workshop will be run next summer and we look forward to it and have no doubt that it will be equally well attended and successful.

Even though there are national and political boundaries, there is no boundary to love and compassion. In the coming years, too, we have plans for the general enhancement of the health of the local people through programs such as health awareness campaign, preventative measures, life-style issues for good health and longevity, health campaigns and so on. We therefore, request Tibet Foundation, UK and

your members and supporters to continue to help us in these health promotion initiatives in the future.

In conclusion, on behalf of Yushu Tibetan Medical Centre, the people of Yushu, I would like to thank the Trustees and Members of Tibet Foundation all for your support, and I wish everyone, who have come here, a very healthy, successful and long life.

Yushu Tibetan Hospital director Mr Tsewang Gyamtso presenting to Mr Wangyal a banner of ‘Thankyou Tibet Foundation’ in appreciation of the Foundation’s support to the people of Yushu in 2013 & 2016