Traditional and Complementary Medicine: Policy and Regulation in Malaysia


M.S. Pillay


Traditional & Complementary Medicine Exhibition 2007 (TCME 2007), Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




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Malaysia, a multi-racial country, has a rich heritage of various traditional medical practices, each according to the ethnic origins of its population. On the other hand, the more cosmopolitan complementary medicine, appeal to a wider mix of population. Recognizing the importance and widespread use of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM), the Ministry of Health (MOH) launched the National T&CM Policy in 2001 with a vision to eventually integrate T&CM into the Malaysian healthcare system. The main objective of National T&CM Policy is to ensure public safety through safe and effective T&CM practice in accordance to standard ethics, adherence to acceptable standard of safety practice, enhance research and training facilities in the country as well as strengthening collaboration with other countries. The MOH has recognized practitioners’ bodies for each group of practice areas such as Traditional Malay Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Traditional Indian Medicine, Homeopathy and Complementary Therapies. The term of reference was set up for the practitioner bodies and endorsement of criteria and standard done to ensure professionalism of practitioners through self regulatory. T&CM Division act as coordinator for all activities provide by T&CM practitioners. MOH as a custodian for delivery of healthcare system, establish focal research center on herbal medicine to ensure acceptable standards of safety and quality for traditional products and practice, several guidelines available to facilitate the development and protection of intellectual property rights related to T&CM knowledge, culture and biological resources. There are an establish legislation for traditional product to ensure the appropriate use. The diversity of T&CM practices and requirement of standardization of T&CM training and education, it initiates Traditional and Complementary Healthcare Practices Bill. The primary aim of coming legislation is to ensure consumer safety and the secondary aims are lower regulatory costs to government and minimize compliance costs. Knowledge enhancement will be introduced through an establishment of the Global Information Hub for Integrated Medicine.