2 Oct, 12 | by Iain Brassington
The Malaysian Parliament has just approved a law about traditional medicine. The Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act is largely about the regulation of practitioners of TCM – notably, setting up a regulatory Council. According to section II (5)
The Council shall have the following functions:
(a) to advise the Minister on matters of national policy relating to traditional and complementary medicine practice;
(b) to establish the eligibility requirements for each practice area;
(c) to recognize qualifications conferred by any institutions of higher learning established under any written law in Malaysia or any institutions of higher learning recognized and authorized by any countries outside Malaysia for the purpose of registration under this Act;
(d) to specify the appropriate academic qualifications or recognized skills certificate issued pursuant to the National Skills Development Act 2006 [Act 652] which are or is necessary before a person may apply to be a registered practitioner;
(e) to specify the necessary apprenticeship and training requirements including rules for undergoing apprenticeship, the scope of responsibilities and permitted conduct or activities of apprenticeship, duration of apprenticeship and post-qualification apprenticeship;
(f) to register individuals who will provide traditional and complementary medicine services to the public;
(g) to issue practising certificates to registered practitioners who have satisfied the prescribed conditions and paid the prescribed fees;
(h) to develop codes of professional conduct, rules relating to the professional conduct of registered practitioners, including penalties for breach of such codes or rules;
(i) to develop, undertake, prescribe and mandate any matter relating to or connected with the practice of traditional and complementary medicine or the professionalism of such practice;
(j) to specify, provide for and administer a complaints procedure and process;
(k) to develop rules upon which registered practitioners are to refer their patients to medical practitioners or dental practitioners, as the case may be;
(l) to obtain such relevant information from practitioners, and to provide the same to the Minister;
(m) to carry out such functions as may be specified by this Act; and
(n) to carry out all such other activities as may be directed by the Minister and such direction shall be consistent with the purposes of this Act.
Section IV (21) says that
(1) No person shall practise in any practice area which is not a recognized practice area.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable—
(a) in respect of a first offence, to a fine not exceeding thirty thousand ringgit [approx £6000] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both; and
(b) in respect of a subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand ringgit [£10 000, or thereabouts] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both.
Is this a good law? Clearly, it is not a particularly exciting piece of legislation; and there might be problems with it – there’re problems with a lot of laws. more…