T&CM services crucial part of healthcare system, should not be taxed, says Dr Wee

PETALING JAYA: Traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) services are crucial parts of our healthcare system and should not be taxed, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic).

The MCA president urged the government to withdraw its plan to introduce a sales and services tax (SST) for T&CM, including massage and physiotherapy services.

"Be it T&CM treatment or modern medicine, it still has the same objective, which is to take care of people's health. Lately, patients who receive T&CM are from various racial groups, with many Malay patients also receiving traditional Chinese medical treatment (for example).

ALSO READ: 8% tax on TCM will encourage underground practices and quacks, says MCA

"Many universities in Malaysia and worldwide have also introduced and hold T&CM courses. Take Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) Hospital in Kampar. It has 250 beds for modern medicine and another 100 beds for T&CM.

"T&CM is one of the branches of services accepted by our Health Ministry. In fact, there are T&CM services in several government hospitals with many patients being treated by T&CM practitioners in Malaysia," he said in a Facebook post on Friday (Dec 29).

Dr Wee also criticised the government's supposed demand for T&CM practitioners to pay all unpaid SST taxes from 2018 by May 2024, saying that such a demand was ridiculous.

"Since T&CM was exempted from taxes before and practitioners have never collected the 6% SST before, how are they supposed to claim it back from their clients for services that have been provided from 2018 to 2023?" he said.

He concluded by asking the government to refrain from discriminating against T&CM practices and to prioritise providing the best healthcare for the people.

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Dr Wee Ka Siong , T&CM , Healthcare , Tax , SST , Health , Wellbeing


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