Harry Theocharis, Greece's Tourism Minister, speaks at the opening ceremony of the Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center in Athens, Greece, Dec. 18, 2019. The Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center was launched on Wednesday here. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center was launched on Wednesday here. Located in a northern suburb of the Greek capital the center which will be providing its services from the new year, is the first opening in Greece.
"(There is) one goal, the benefit of Greeks and Chinese patients, travelers and visitors of Attica and Greece," Giorgos Patoulis, regional governor of Attica and president of the International Health Tourism Center (IHTC), said at the opening ceremony, after cutting the ribbon.
"It is a great honor the fact that China, this great country, is approaching the birthplace of (western) medicine, Greece," he told the audience which included Greek government officials, local government representatives, Chinese representatives, members of the Greek medical and business community, and scientists from the two countries.
The Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center is the result of the collaboration of China Anhui University of Chinese Medicine and the International Health Tourism Center.
It was launched under an agreement of scientific exchange of know-how and comparative scientific study that has been signed between the two parties in April 2019 in China.
The project aims to promote scientific research and practice through the convergence of Western Medicine principles and Chinese Traditional Medicine practices.
"I hope that the Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center will become a model of cooperation between China and EU and an example of dialogue between civilizations," Professor Peng Daiyin, president of China Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, said delivering a speech during the event.
"Medical tourism has plenty of growth potential and much to offer to our country," added Harry Theocharis, Greece's Tourism Minister.
The center is targeting the 20,000 members of the growing Chinese community living in Greece, and about 125,000 Chinese visiting the country each year, he noted.
The center is also targeting Greeks seeking Chinese traditional medicine services of high-quality. The first treatment units that will operate at the Athens Chinese Traditional Medicine Center will combine the traditional Eastern medicine treatments and methods of the Chinese doctors with Western medical knowledge, theory and practice on various specialties from the part of Greek doctors, according to an e-mailed IHTC press release.