Malaysian TCM Practitioners to Undergo 1 Year Residency

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Kuala Lumpur (hla) - PRACTITIONERS of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) will soon be required to be registered and work at local hospitals and medical institutions approved by a council in Malaysia.

It will be compulsory for all TCM practitioners to undergo a residency of not less than one year with any hospital or institution identified by the council. Failure to do so will result in a RM30,000 (approx. USD$10,000) fine, 2 years imprisonment or both upon conviction. Repeated offenders can also be imposed a maximum fine of RM50,000 (approx. USD$16,666), 3 years imprisonment or both.

The Traditional and Comple­mentary Medicine Bill 2012, which was tabled in June 2012 aims to regulate the country’s growing alternative medicine industry.

Practitioners have mixed feelings in regards to the new law. Long-time practitioner of Homoeopathy Mr. Kumar Krishnan believes that the new law will help TCM practitioners to gain a stronger standing in Malaysia's medicinal field.

"With the new law, rules will definitely become more stringent than before to govern our practices," he said, adding however that if the government has taken a step to pass a law for TCM, it goes to show that the Malaysian government is beginning to recognise the efficacy of TCM practices.

Questions are circulating among practitioners as to the rigidity of the law in regards to the issue of residency.

Only wished to be known as Linda, the senior Chinese acupuncturist was in a dilemma if those with over 20 years of experience still had to undergo residency with a local hospital.

"If that is the case, I would say that it is pretty ridiculous. Many of us are so experienced in this field and have our own businesses. How can we just put everything aside and undergo residency with a local medical institution here?"

The appointed council will be responsible for developing a code of professional conduct and rules for the TCM field. Members will include officers from the Health Ministry, local universities, registered public practitioners and experts. The council will establish the eligibility of TCM practices and handle the registration for TCM practitioners as well as issuing practising certificates.

Should a case be beyond a practitioner's skills, it is compulsory under the new law that the practitioner refers the patient to a medical or dental practitioner. Practitioners are also prohibited from misleading the public with claims as to the curative properties of certain medication or treatments. Any practitioner who violates any law or rule of practice can be investigated and issued a suspension of service by the council.

By Genevieve Tan Shu Thung

Copyright © 2012 Sandhya Maarga Holistic Living Resources

Holistic Living Annex (JULY 2012)

2 Responses for “ Malaysian TCM Practitioners to Undergo 1 Year Residency”

  1. HS Tee says:

    At least there will be quality control. No doubt it will impose some pretty annoying standards on practitioners, but the public can now be assured that the services provided are up to par.

  2. Cammy Lee says:

    TCM is gaining status in Malaysian medical field. What is wrong with that? Alternative medical practitioners also deserve to be respected just like the other western doctors. In fact, some TCM practitioners are even better than mainstream doctors. We get instant relief from hospital tablets, but they don't really cure us from our diseases. I've suffered from asthma for so many years, and it was so terrible. All western medicine could do was to give me the nebuliser and ventolin inhaler as well as a few wheezing medicine, and that's it!! They told my parents that asthma could never be cured. A trip to a local TCM physician however changed my life. I got my health back. I'm now asthma-free for more than 20 years. Imagine that. I would say well done to the Malaysian government in moving towards recognising the efforts of TCM practitioners in the country. Thes health practitioners should be given more opportunities to serve our people. With this new law, more skeptics would become more aware as to the efficacy of traditional practices.


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