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Wednesday July 18, 2007

Kepala Batas Hospital first to integrate traditional and modern medicine


KUALA LUMPUR: The Kepala Batas Hospital in Penang will be the first government hospital to incorporate traditional and complementary medicine in September. 

Two other hospitals selected for the pilot project – Putrajaya Hospital and Pandan Hospital in Johor Baru – will do so later this year. 

Traditional therapy: Dr Chua being briefed on the “shirodhara” treatment by Ayurvedic Physician of Zanas Health Services Sdn Bhd’s Dr S.K. Vats (left) during his visit to a health care exhibition held in conjunction with the conference and congress in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — Bernama
The hospitals will introduce three modalities of traditional and complementary medicine – herbal preparation, acupuncture and traditional massage. 

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said under the project, three oncologists from the Traditional Chinese Medicine Guang’anmen Hospital in Beijing and the Universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai and Nanjing would be attached to each hospital for three months. 

“If proven successful, it will be extended to other public hospitals,” he told a press conference after the opening of the International Conference on Traditional and Complementary Medicine (Intracom) and the third International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica (ICTMMM) here yesterday. 

Dr Chua was elaborating on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s speech, which he had read earlier. 

“All plans governing the integration of traditional and complementary medicine activities will be carried out carefully and take into consideration safety, medico-legal, religious sensitivities and culture of Malaysians. 

“It is timely for traditional and complementary medicine to be optimally integrated into the Malaysian healthcare system,” Abdullah said. 

He also said that the ministry had recently completed the Traditional Complementary Medicine Bill, which was expected to be passed next year. 

Abdullah said 7,154 traditional and complementary medicine practitioners had registered with their respective practitioner bodies in 2006 – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Complementary and Homoeopathy. 

Dr Chua said Chinese traditional medicine was chosen because its education and training system could be assessed. 

On the 7,000 registered practitioners, he said it was merely registration and not recognition. 

Of the total, he said there were about 2,500 Chinese practitioners, 2,100 Indian practitioners, 1,700 complementary practitioners with the remaining being Malay and homoeopathy practitioners.  

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