Alternative Medicine Gaining Ground in Malaysia

Manila Bulletin, January 5, 2011 | Go to article overview

Alternative Medicine Gaining Ground in Malaysia


SHAH ALAM (PNA/Bernama) - Alternative medicine is increasingly gaining acceptance among Malaysians in not only maintaining good health but also in treating ailments.In Malaysia, the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Indian Ayurveda and Siddha medicine are respectively the most common alternative remedy to conventional medicine for the Chinese and Indian communities.The president of the Malaysian Society for Complementary Medicine (MSCM) Dr Lee Chee Pheng remarked that no one wants to fall sick and the side effects of conventional drugs were pushing the society towards herbal medicine that is relatively harmless."Based on the market demand, TCM is the fastest growing industry in the world," said Dr Lee when met at the recent 4th World Ayurveda Congress and Arogya Expo 2010 in Bangalore, India.Dr. Lee led a nine-member team from MSCM to the event considered the world's biggest on complementary and alternative healthcare. It was organized by India's Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH), the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) and the Government of Karnataka.Greater choice from alternative medicineConcurring with Dr. Lee, Dr. V.M. Palaniappan a leading practitioner of alternative medicine and author of numerous books on the subject noted that the ancient Ayurveda and Siddha medicine too have been gaining popularity in Malaysia with many Ayurvedic centers cropping up over the last decade."I have a strong feeling that Ayurvedic system is fast picking up in Malaysia, and I will not be surprised if more people begin to seek remedies through this method."One of the reasons why people opt for alternative medicine appears to be the presence of undesirable side effects of chemical-based drugs used in modern medicine," said this former academician with Universiti Malaya.Another reason for people seeking treatment using alternative method is the cost factor. It is a lot cheaper," said the pioneering founder of an evidence and science based alternative medicine called Ecological Healing System (EHS).Dr. Palani observed that in general, people spend lots of money to manage their health through conventional methods, yet often end up suffering without any solution to their health woes.Traditional and Complementary Medicine ActNevertheless, at present alternative medicine in Malaysia is still at infancy and awaiting guidelines to regulate the sector and integrate alternative/complimentary medicine into the National Healthcare System.The Health Ministry is to introduce the TCM Act, which is expected to be effective by next year, that would provide guidelines to better regulate TCM practices in Malaysia.Once the TCM Act is implemented, all TCM practitioners will have to register with the ministry before they can offer their services.But this has created some uneasiness among the practitioners like pointed out by Dr. …

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