UTAR hosted the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Practitioners Enhancement course, organised by the Health Ministry with the TCM Competency Enhancement Module Committee, at its Sungai Long Campus recently.
The committee, which Utar chairs, is made up of the six local universities that offer TCM courses – Management and Science University (MSU), Lincoln University College, Southern University College, INTI International University and International Medical University.
The purpose of the course is to update TCM practitioners, without formal degrees in the area, on the regulations they are bound to by the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2013.
Health Ministry (Medical) deputy director-general Datuk Dr Jeyaindran Sinnadurai said, “Traditional medicine practitioners are heroes and heroines who provide medical services where Western medicine is out of reach.
“There are many who doubt its efficacy in mainstream Western medicine, but the knowledge honed over thousands of years makes the practitioners experts in their own right.
“I believe a great strength of traditional medicine is that a large part of its philosophy is pre-emptive medicine centred on wellness, in contrast to Western medicine which focuses on curing illnesses.”
He stressed that mainstream medicine must become more accepting of traditional medicine as they are complementary, like brothers and sisters.
“A stronger alliance between the two philosophies would lead to more comprehensive care for patients,” he said, adding that 14 hospitals in Malaysia already had traditional medicine wings.
Explaining the ministry’s intentions, Jeyaindran said, “The reason we are carrying out the enhancement course is to elevate the second-class standing of traditional medicine to a legitimate, government-sanctioned practice.
“Registration of practitioners will increase public trust and grant practitioners due respect so that they may practise their vocation with pride and dignity.”
Also present were MSU Medical director Datuk Dr Lailanor Ibrahim, Malaysian Chinese Medical Association representative Heng Aik Teng and Federation of Chinese Physicians and Medicine Dealers Associations of Malaysia representatives Kerk Ee Chan and Steven Kow Chong Cheih.
Welcoming the guests were Utar vice- president (Internationalisation and Academic Development) Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) Dean Emeritus Prof Dr Cheong Soon Keng, FMHS Department of Chinese Medicine head Dr Te Kian Keong and FMHS Clinical TCM Programme head Prof Dr Si Xiaochen.