Materia Medica Malaysiana

July 29, 2006

Traditional medicine draft Bill ready by year’s end

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:14 am

Star: KUALA LUMPUR: The Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill 2006 draft will be ready by the end of the year, Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
The law will bring unethical practices and the use of low quality traditional and complementary medicine (T/CM) products under control, he said while opening the 2nd Women’s Health and Asian Traditional Medicine Conference yesterday.
The law will not only ensure practitioners are registered but also have government-approved education and training on T/CM, he added.
“We are discussing with the Public Services Department, the National Accreditation Board and the Higher Education Ministry on how to come up with accreditation and certification of courses provided in Indonesia, India and China,” he said.
“We also hope local universities will provide courses on traditional medicine which are recognised worldwide.” Such a course is conducted in RMIT, Australia.
Last year, more than 7,000 T/CM local practitioners were registered. They included 4,900 Chinese practitioners, 175 Malay, 69 Indian and 691 homeopathic practitioners and 1,200 complementary medicine practitioners. There were 219 foreign practitioners registered.
“Herbal products have great potential in Malaysia,” Dr Chua said.
“Malaysia is nestled in the oldest rainforest of the world and has a lot to offer to the world. It is listed as number 12 in the world for its biodiversity, and one in eight herbs on the planet grow on our soil.”
The Malaysian Industry Government grouping for High Technology 1999 study showed that the local market for herbal products is valued at RM4.5bil and growing at 10% to 15% a year, he said.
“Sadly, based on traditional medicine products registered with our Drug Control Authority up to last year, almost 40% of these products are imported, mainly from China and Indonesia,” he said.
To integrate T/CM into the country’s healthcare system, the ministry is carrying out a pilot test at the Putrajaya, Kepala Batas and Pandan hospitals over the next five years, at an estimated cost of RM1.8mil.

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