Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Integration of traditional and complementary medicine into the national health care delivery: the strategies taken by Malaysia
Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Over the years, the role of Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T/CM) in maintaining human health has significantly growing and could no longer be ignored. The World Health Organisation also recognised its contribution and encourages the member countries to integrate proven safe and effective traditional medicine into the national health care delivery. Unlike modern medicine, which is introduced and implemented based on scientific evidence, T/CM practices received its acceptance through the knowledge that is passed through many generations and attraction from various advertisement from the media. Hence, many issues especially in term of safety and efficacy, remain debatable. Malaysia, since 1996, had initiated many activities in coordinating this development with the formation of Standing committee on T/CM, that look into the coordination of the practice, training, product and research. Together with the appointed 5 umbrella bodies, the T/CM practitioners are monitored to ensure meeting the qualification and abate to the professional code, while the Traditional Medicine Product Act, regulate product and they can only have the claimed when it is proven by scientific data, resulting from proper research. The formation of Herbal Medicine Research Centre, National Committee on Herbal Medicine R&D and Global Information Hub on Integrated Medicine, showed Malaysia commitment in promoting and enhancing T/CM practice into the integrated medicine. More activities had been identified and that include the creation of T/CM Bill and this will be one of the major the trust of newly formed Traditional and Complementary Division, Ministry of Health, Malaysia.