KJ on fact-finding visit to Thailand to assess medical use of cannabis

PETALING JAYA: Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is on a four-day working visit to Thailand to assess the potential use of cannabis and ketum for medical purposes and the legal framework for its medical use.

The Health Ministry said the working visit, which started yesterday (Monday), was at the invitation of Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul.

Khairy visited the Government Pharmaceutical Office (GPO), where he will be briefed about the medical cannabis policy in Thailand, including the practices, cultivation methods and research and the use of cannabis and ketum for health purposes in Thailand.

Thailand is the first country in South-East Asia to legalise cannabis and use it for medicinal purposes.

“The bilateral visit represents an ideal platform for the health ministry to understand the advances in international research and findings to support the clinical use of cannabis.”

According to the statement, the visit also opens international collaboration opportunities for the private and research entities undertaking clinical studies on cannabis and ketum as they develop medical innovations that will further improve the quality of healthcare in Malaysia.

Khairy is expected to meet the main players of the cannabis and ketum industry in Thailand besides visiting Siam Cannabis Land, where he will be able to see both indoor and outdoor plantations, a greenhouse, and a drying centre.

The Malaysian delegation will also visit Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the largest private hospitals in South-East Asia, and the Somdet Chaopraya Institute of Psychiatry, which provides modern mental healthcare services.

Last month, Khairy said a framework for registering certain cannabidiol (CBD) products would be announced.

Khairy is also scheduled to attend the Apec High-level meeting on health and economy in Bangkok on Thursday before returning to Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, on a separate issue, Khairy said in a statement that the ministry would settle the remaining 4,833 cases of non-Covid-19 backlogs at government hospitals soon.

He said the backlog cases as of July 31 only involved surgical procedures from the disciplines of paediatric and cardiothoracic surgery.

“MOH will continue to strive to improve health services for all Malaysian families.”

Yesterday, Khairy said the MOH had successfully resolved 92% of the 57,355 backlogs of non-Covid-19 treatment cases recorded at the government hospitals across the country up to September 2021.

Of the total backlog cases, he said 53,785 cases were surgical-based, and 3,570 were medical-based cases. — Bernama

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