Address confusion over TCM SOPs, says MCA Youth

PETALING JAYA: MCA Youth wants the relevant authorities to address the confusion over standard operating procedures (SOPs) for traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) practitioners to operate throughout the four phases of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Youth chief Datuk Nicole Wong Siaw Ting welcomed the decision made by the National Security Council (NSC) to introduce new SOPs for TCM practitioners to operate throughout the four phases.

"Nonetheless, some parts of the new SOPs have given rise to confusions.

"In particular, one section allows TCM services to be offered under normal operating hours with full staff capacity in licensed premises approved by the local authorities.

"However, another section specifies that only online consultation will be allowed during Phase One.

"We hope NSC and the Health Ministry can quickly address the discrepancies, so that practitioners and patients will be at ease while operating and seeking treatments, respectively," she said in a statement Thursday (July 8).

She added that to a certain extent, the approval for the TCM sector to operate will help chronic patients who have relied on TCM for a long time to resolve their urgent needs.

"Permitting the TCM sector to resume operations will also relieve some financial burden off the shoulders of practitioners," she said.

On June 20, MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon expressed the party’s position that it was unreasonable for TCM to be excluded from the list of essential services, calling for the reopening of the sector to reduce the pressure on the public healthcare system.

Following a virtual discussion with the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) together with five other TCM associations on Sunday (July 4), MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the need to seek TCM treatment and medication should be considered based on humanitarian grounds.

He also had proposed the SOPs for the operation of TCM to be discussed and updated as soon as possible.

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