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Oriental medicine expert named Lee’s family doctor

President Lee Myung-bak named Yu Bong-ha, chief of the Korean traditional medicine division at Kyung Hee Medical Center, as his second family doctor, Lee’s spokesperson Kim Hee-jung said Monday, upon lobbying by local practitioners of oriental medicine.

Yu will be officially appointed to the vice ministerial position early next month.

The president is allowed to appoint a physician and an oriental medicine doctor as his family doctors, according to the rules of the presidential office, Kim said.

Former president Roh Moo-hyun had introduced the dual family doctor system upon taking office in 2003 as part of government efforts to foster the study of oriental medicine, but the Lee administration scrapped it based on its policy of a “small government.”

Lee restored the system of appointing a herb expert as the first family’s doctor months after Health Minister Chin Soo-hee urged Presidential Chief of Staff Yim Tae-hee to do so last year.

“The nomination is expected to help promote the efficacy of Korea’s traditional medicine,” Kim said.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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