China-Malaysia MoU aims to take TCM to next level
After the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia and China, the two countries vowed to boost collaboration and elevate the status of TCM in this country.
Malaysia's Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin acknowledged that "in Malaysia, research in traditional and complementary medicine is still in its infancy. Thus, the vast knowledge and expertise possessed by the People's Republic of China in traditional medicine will certainly be able to benefit Malaysia, especially in research activities, including from the aspect of prevention and treatment of communicable and non-communicable diseases."
In Malaysia, the traditional and complementary medicine field – be it from the Chinese, Malay or Indian traditions – has largely been self-regulating. But that is changing following parliament's passing of the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act (T&CM Act).
Within two years, all practitioners of Chinese, Malay and Indian traditional medicine who do not have formal qualifications will have to apply for registration with the Ministry of Health. Only those with at least five years of experience will be eligible.
A number of higher education institutions in Malaysia already offer degree programs in TCM. INTI University is one of them. It collaborates closely with Chinese universities.
"In the final year, (the students) have to go for internship," said Dr. Heng Aik Teng, head of the TCM department at INTI University. "We have two parts. Internship 1 they do locally. Internship 2 we encourage them to go to China."
“在最后一年，（学生）必须去实习，”英迪大学中医系主任Heng Aik Teng博士说。 “我们有两个部分。实习1他们在当地做。实习2我们鼓励他们去中国。”
"So, Chinese universities collaborate in the internship and the other area is the teaching method so we can give the best to the students. We must learn from China. Luckily, China supports us," Dr. Heng said.
Proponents of TCM believe that the government's move to enforce the T&CM Act and ensure only those registered with the health ministry are able to practice will raise levels of safety and professionalism.
中医药的支持者认为，政府执行 T&CM 法案并确保只有在卫生部注册的人才能够行医的举措将提高安全和专业水平。
That, coupled with China's vow to increase collaboration in formulating policy, in education and in R&D in TCM, should help ensure a healthy future for TCM in Malaysia.