Your healthcare news library

Posts tagged ‘TCM’

More seeking traditional treatment

GOOD RESPONSE: Number of practitioners on the rise says, health minister

PUTRAJAYA: PUBLIC response to traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) provided in government hospitals has been very encouraging, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the number of patients treated in TCM units had shown a steady increase over the years.

“Based on statistics, the total number of patients treated last year was 38,007, and this was an increase from 2010, where only 25,050 patients were treated,” he told the New Straits Times.

In 2009 there were 15,778 patients, 2008 (11,533) and 2007 (763).

Liow was previously reported as saying that the World Health Organisation had identified TCM as an important alternative treatment to improve healthcare and that alternative medicine should be made available to the public to further encourage its development.

“Hence to further spur its growth, the ministry will be setting up two new TCM units by the end of this year at both Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital and Hospital Jasin, Malacca.”

Currently, there are only 10 hospitals that offer an integrated medicine programme that incorporates TCM into modern medicine. Among them are Putrajaya Hospital, Port Dickson Hospital and Sarawak Hospital.

The services provided were traditional Malay massage for chronic pain and post stroke management, acupuncture, herbal therapy as an adjunct treatment for cancer, Malay post-natal care and Shirodhara (ayurvedic).

The ministry is also in the midst of considering a collaboration with China to establish a Traditional Chinese Medicine Centre of Excellence (TCMCOE) that offers clinical services in traditional Chinese medicine aside from teaching and conducting research.

As for the number of practitioners in Malaysia, Liow said that there had been a rise as more higher learning institutions were offering courses in TCM.

“Not only that, the increasing awareness through ongoing roadshows about the web portal (ePENGAMAL) has encouraged practitioners to register themselves on a voluntary basis.

“There were 4,892 practitioners recorded last year.”

Meanwhile, the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Bill was recently tabled for first reading in Parliament which requires all practitioners in the field to be registered with the proposed Traditional and Complementary Medicine Council.

Read more: NST

Tourists find cure for what ails them

Tourists find cure for what ails themAntosha Ivanov spent eight days in Sanya, a coastal tourism attraction in Hainan province, in January and the Russian plans to return next winter.

“The trip was fantastic. I enjoyed the sunshine, the sea and the beach in the morning, received traditional Chinese medicine therapy in the afternoon and slept soundly at night after a few drinks,” he said.

It was the first time he tried acupuncture and his joints, which had ached from arthritis for many years, got much better.

The cost of the tour was less than 30,000 yuan ($4,759). “It’s a combination of tourism and medical care. It’s worth it,” said Ivanov.

Promising sector

He is one of the 20,000-plus “medical tourists” served by Sanya TCM Hospital. The hospital has had patients from Germany, Austria, Norway, Russia and some Central Asian nations.

It signed a contract with Rosneft Oil, the largest oil and gas conglomerate in Russia, in 2010 to admit 1,000 employees of the company for recuperation in Sanya every year. It also reached agreements with two medical institutions in Moscow on transferring patients to Sanya for rehabilitation.

The hospital also offers a TCM training tour. Medical students from Austria and Sweden have come to the hospital to get basic TCM knowledge and acupuncture and massage training.

Hainan is an island with rich tourism resources. China’s TCM care services are attracting more people from around the world because of its natural and green characteristics.

Tourists find cure for what ails them

“We combine them, and it’s proved to be very promising,” said Liu Dexi, the hospital’s president.

So far, a large part of the visitors are from Russia. The hospital said visitors from northern Europe are rising. The hospital declined to provide exact sales figures for recent years, though it said sales had grown fast and will accelerate even further.

Some of Hainan’s natural resources also serve as TCM therapy resources, according to Bai Zhiqin, director of Hainan Health Department.

Bai cited mineral hot springs and forests with high-oxygen content as examples. “In line with TCM principles, these natural resources are helpful to treat many chronic diseases, such as respiratory illnesses and joint problems,” he said.

A report by McKinsey & Co released in April said that Asia is the medical tourism market with the highest potential in the world. Revenue from the industry amounted to $34 billion in 2007, accounting for 12.7 percent of the global market. It is expected to reach $100 billion this year, the report forecast.

TCM tourism is expected to develop more quickly than the medical tourism industry in general, according to Liu Zhanglin, vice-president of the China Chamber of Commerce for the Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products.

International Medical Travel Association President Ruben Toralas said that China may use its advantage in TCM to diversify its medical tourism services to attract various kinds of visitors. The nation’s price-competitiveness might help it take a greater share in the industry.

Eyeing the huge market potential, many local governments, such as Beijing, have taken steps to develop TCM tourism.

Beijing has a blueprint for the industry, based on both TCM science resources and many millennia of cultural heritage in the capital. A series of tourism bases, including a TCM heritage museum, medicinal herb planting park and TCM processing factories, are to be built or renovated.

The government said it expects the services to be a new engine of the city’s inbound travel industry.

Beijing Guang’anmen TCM Hospital has set up an international department for foreign visitors that can treat between 400 and 500 visitors every month.

Although growing fast, TCM tourism is still in its infancy in China, which needs more government support, systematic market administration and supervision and good coordination between the medical care and tourism sectors, experts said.

China issued support policies for the TCM service trade, which designated TCM travel as one of the top four sectors that should be boosted in the coming years.

The other three are TCM doctors providing remote services via the Internet for foreigners, going abroad to practice treatments and opening clinics. TCM tourism is expected to grow the fastest among the four, said Liu.


Cheaper TCM services for elderly residents in Bukit Panjang

By Poon Chian Hui

Some 30,000 elderly residents in Bukit Panjang can look forward to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) care at cheaper rates.

Come July, a new TCM clinic run by the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution will open its doors, and also offer health talks to residents.

Those on the Community Health Assist Scheme – which allows people to get subsidised primary care in their neighbourhoods – will also receive subsidies at this clinic.

MP for Bukit Panjang Teo Ho Pin said he hopes the branch can ‘provide good quality and low cost TCM services’ to the residents.

Read More: StraitsTimes

Kuching to host 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine

The 9th World Congress of Chinese Medicine will be held at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here from Nov 9 to 11.


It is jointly organised by World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, the Federation of Chinese Physicians and Medical Dealers Associations of Malaysia, Malaysian Chinese Medical Association and the Federation of Chinese Physicians and Acupuncturists Associations of Malaysia. The objective of the congress is to allow participants to discuss the contributing factors of traditional Chinese medicine to the harmony of human and nature.


The Federation of Chinese Physicians and Medical Dealers Associations of Malaysia president Ting Ka Hua yesterday said they expected the congress to attract thousands of participants across the globe.


He pointed out that the congress would be a good venue for Chinese medicine practitioners to discuss the latest news in research and development apart from enhancing networking.


“It is indeed an honour for Kuching to be selected as the organising city for the international event,” he said, adding that the event is also recognised by Ministry of Health and other related agencies.


The organisers yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BCCK and UCSI Communications Sdn Bhd on the event at UCSI University Kuching campus here.


Read more: BorneoPost

Rules for TCM practitioners after Bill tabled

KUALA LUMPUR: A minimum set of requirements will be outlined for traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) practitioners before they are allowed to practise after the TCM Bill is passed, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said a TCM Council, which would be formed under the Act, would decide on the qualifications required of a practitioner.

“The bodies which the practitioners are attached to will also help us to assess their skills and qualifications.

“We will also take their experience into consideration,” he told reporters after visiting the Health Ministry’s Traditional and Complementary Medicine Division here yesterday.

He said those who did not meet the minimum requirement would be given time to further their studies and get the required recognition.

The ministry, he said, was aiming to table the Bill in Parliament in March.

He said the proposed Act would put a stop to common problems faced by the industry, such as the use of unregistered drugs by practitioners, and practitioners with unrecognised qualifications.

The ministry, was also planning to expand TCM services at the primary health care level, which were the government clinics.

“This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s call to all its member to promote TCM.

“For the initial stage, we plan to offer traditional Malay treatment for mothers who have just given birth, traditional massages and acupuncture for those suffering chronic pain.

“This will also improve the accessibility and affordability of such services,” he added.

Currently, TCM services are only available at 10 government hospitals Hospital Kepala Batas (Penang), Hospital Sultan Ismail (Johor), Hospital Putrajaya, Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah (Terengganu) and Hospital Duchess of Kent (Sabah).

The other five hospitals are Hospital Umum Sarawak, Hospital Port Dickson (Negri Sembilan), Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah (Kedah), Hospital Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom (Pahang) and Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II (Kelantan).

On another matter, Liow urged all elected representatives to undergo health examinations on a yearly basis to ensure that they were healthy to serve the people during their term.

“All political parties from both divides should also make it compulsory for all their candidates to be screened before they are nominated for the MP and state assemblyman seats,” he said.

Liow, who is MCA deputy president, said all candidates from the party were required to submit a report on their health condition before they were nominated.

However, he said, the ministry would not make it mandatory for MPs and state assemblymen to undergo health screening.

On Tuesday, Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said it would not impose a ruling to ensure that candidates for the general election were physically fit to avoid having by-elections in the event of the death of MPs or assemblymen.

The Star

Tag Cloud