Materia Medica Malaysiana

June 14, 2008

Number of quack sinsehs alarming

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 10:52 am

NST: JOHOR BARU: Two out of every three registered Chinese physicians (sinsehs) in the country are not qualified, and chances are they will diagnose ailments and prescribe medicines wrongly.
And the statistics are worrying for the Federation of Chinese Physicians and Medicine Dealers Association of Malaysia (FCPMDAM), considering there are over 7,000 registered Chinese physicians.
According to the federation, the huge number is the result of an abuse of the registration exercise for Chinese physicians as required by the Health Ministry since 1997.
To monitor the practice of Chinese physicians, the ministry had assigned three community-based associations to help in the registration of Chinese physicians so that they would get the annual practising certificates (APCs).
FCPMDAM chairman (Chinese Physician division) Tan Kee Huat said some associations took the opportunity to abuse the registration exercise by recruiting members indiscriminately, especially those who had no proper background in Chinese medicines.
He said the unqualified ones seeking the status of Chinese physicians would pay for membership as well as the APCs from those associations.
“This seems to be a win-win situation as the associations are able to enlarge their membership while, on the other hand, those unqualified ones are able to buy their membership and APCs which allow them to carry out their ‘profession’ legally.
“As a result, the number of Chinese physicians has risen from about 3,000 to over 7,000. Despite the meteoric rise in numbers, the numbers tell nothing, except that there are more unqualified Chinese physicians than before.”
It is learnt that some associations charge about RM600 for the registration fee of the annual practising certificate which normally cost RM100.
Tan said the presence of these unqualified Chinese physicians had greatly tarnished the image of the Chinese medicine fraternity.
He said a normal Chinese physician took five years to earn a degree, and another three years each for a Master’s and doctorate degree.
“Those unqualified ones who bought their APCs have no basic training in Chinese medicine. They might be just quack medicinemen, traditional healers or masseurs. If unsuspecting patients are to patronise their outlets, they might end up getting more sick and risk being cheated of their money.”
Tan, who is also the principal of the Johor Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, said the Health Ministry had agreed to continue using Chinese language in the teaching of Chinese medicine in local private colleges.
He said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai also assured them that the existing medium of instruction would remain.

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