The Star Online
Wed, 26 Sep 2012 23:04 CDT
Patients may soon opt for modern, traditional or complementary medicine when seeking treatment in government hospitals.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said even though this was not the current standard operating procedure at government hospitals, traditional and complementary medical services could be a possibility in the near future due to its growing popularity among the public.
He said a study made recently showed that 77.9% of medical doctors responded positively about traditional and complementary medicine and would refer or advise their patients to go for massages, therapies or acupuncture.
"This is something that we can look into in the near future. For now, 10 government hospitals are providing traditional and complementary medicine on the side," he said in response to points raised during debate for the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill 2012.
The Bill is to better regulate the growing alternative medicine industry and to set up the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council which will be responsible for establishing eligibility of a practice area, registering individuals providing such services and issuing practising certificates.
Liow said that Islamic medicine practices were now being included in the Bill alongside traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian medicines, homeopathy and complementary therapies, adding that it was not included as part of the Bill earlier as it did not have Jakim's approval.