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Crackdown on bogus traditional medicine
Published on: Saturday, March 07, 2015

Kuala Lumpur: The Health Ministry has pledged to hunt down bogus alternative medicine practitioners who mislead patients into believing they can treat incurable illnesses.Dubious institutions or training centres offering unaccredited medical courses have been marked in the impending crackdown.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said victims of unscrupulous alternative medicine practitioners should lodge complaints so action can be taken.

"We are serious in this matter. We will act against bogus medical practitioners who call themselves doctors to mislead patients," he said, pointing out that the law was clear that no person shall use the title "Dr" in Malaysia, unless he is a registered doctor under the Medical Act 1971 or Dental Act 1971.

To ensure the safety of the public who opt for alternative medicine, Dr Subramaniam said the soon-to-be implemented Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) Act would allow the Ministry to regulate T&CM practices and practitioners in Malaysia.

The act spells out standards for registerable qualifications of T&CM pratitioners and details on action that can be taken against those who flout the regulations.

It was recently reported that thousands of Malaysians had fallen prey to unscrupulous alternative medicine "doctors" who took advantage of their desperation to be cured of chronic and incurable illness.

A majority of these "doctors", claimed that their treatment and products had been successful and convinced patients to forsake modern medicine for their remedies.

On traditional medicine products, Dr Subramaniam said finished herbal products and homeopathic products should be registered with the Drug Control Authority prior to marketing according to the Sales of Drug Act 1952 and Control of Drug and Cosmetics Regulation, 1982.

He said there were 12,183 registered traditional, herbal, homeopathic products in the market.

Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department Director Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said police would act if there were elements of criminal activities by bogus doctors.

Many victims related how unscrupulous alternative medicine doctors they had visited had ended up taking advantage of their situation.



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