By Tenzin Monlam
Tibetan PM Lobsang Sangay speaks at the 101st founding anniversary of the Mentseekhang, March 29, 2009, Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, MARCH 29: Calling on the premier institute for traditional Tibetan medicine and astrology, the exile Tibetan prime minister Lobsang Sangay said the Mentseekhang or the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute must work hard to keep its legacy alive in the years to come.
The Tibetan PM was speaking at the 101st anniversary of the institute’s establishment in Lhasa, Tibet’s capital in 1916, under the auspices of the thirteenth Dalai Lama.
In his address to the gathering comprising of Tibetan doctors, astrologers and students, Sangay urged them to strive towards quality alternative healthcare products and treating patients with compassion and care.
“It is said that the doctors, staff and teachers of this institution are the best with best academic qualities. Hence it is imperative that we must preserve this precious institution,” said the PM.
PM Sangay recalled the institute’s early exile history after it was re-established in Dharamshala by His Holiness the Dalai Lama 56 years ago with only one doctor and four students and it’s growth today to 697 employees and students combined, and 55 branch clinics in India and Nepal.
“We must not forget our roots and the dedication put in by our previous generations in preserving our traditional medical system as per His Holiness’s wishes. Keeping that in mind, doctors and staff currently working must work with same dedication and if we do that it would add to the already improving system,” he said at the event also attended by Health Minister (Kalon) Choekyong Wangchuk, dignitaries of CTA and representatives of NGOs.
Health minister Choekyong Wangchuk, while acknowledging the awareness campaigns carried out by the institution, suggested that it should also look into the possibilities of enhancing its awareness drives by combining both the modern and traditional systems while educating the populace of schools and monasteries. “The responsibilities are now on your shoulders. When the time comes, you must remember to give back to the community, which has provided all of you with opportunities and platforms to succeed.”
Men-Tsee-Khang also launched books and documentation including one on Yoga and five new herbal-based products including syrups for cold and flu and dental soother.
The institute also partake in collaborative ventures with projects in the pipeline to bolster export demands abroad. Besides the medicine and treatment of patients from many countries, the institute also boasts of a respectable college that produces doctors trained in the traditional Tibetan medicine.