Sinseh may get to issue medical chits

March 2, 2012

PRACTITIONERS of traditional medicine may issue sick leave certificates to patients under a proposed law expected to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, possibly this month.

This is the Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Bill, which is now with the attorney-general’s chambers.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the proposed legislation would weed out bogus healers and turn TCM into one of the core branches in healthcare.

“We are waiting for the attorney-general to get back to us and if they are fast, we could present the bill at the next parliamentary session this month or June at the latest,” he said after opening Hospital Sungai Long (HSL) recently.

Liow said the bill, which was drafted by TCM practitioners and experts, would not only benefit the industry, but also the public.

“The enforcement of the act will ease the burden of those who rely on TCM as the cost would then be borne by insurance companies as well. Employees who seek treatment from TCM practitioners would also receive official medical certificates.”

TCM treatment has grown over the years and the Health Ministry estimates that there could be as many as 15,000 practitioners in the country. Currently, the ministry allows massages, acupuncture and post-natal care in 10 government hospitals.

Liow said the ministry was considering expanding TMC treatment to its clinics by the end of this year.

“We are going to start a pilot project to introduce such treatments in local clinics.

“It will then be easier for people to seek TCM treatment in their neighbourhood.”

He said the pilot project would probably be in Johor Baru.

Malaysia’s cooperation with China in traditional Chinese medicine has also been strengthened with the signing of a memorandum of understanding on policy regulations and promotion of traditional medicine by the two countries last November.

Liow said Malaysia would be hosting the fourth Conference on Traditional Medicine in Asean Countries this year.

At the event, he also witnessed an exchange of a memorandum of understanding between HSL and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman for sharing facilities, resources and expertise in medical and health sciences.

Present were Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung, UTAR council chairman Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, HSL general manager Ric Lee Juin Sye and UTAR president Professor Datuk Dr Chuah Hean Teik.


Category: Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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