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Challenges and opportunities in integrating complementary and alternative medicine into mainstream of the Malaysian healthcare system
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  • Journal title : TANG [HUMANITAS MEDICINE]
  • Volume 5, Issue 4,  2015, pp.23.1-23.6
  • Publisher : Association of Humanitas Medicine
  • DOI : 10.5667/tang.2015.0014
 Title & Authors
Challenges and opportunities in integrating complementary and alternative medicine into mainstream of the Malaysian healthcare system
Tahir, Nurul Ain Mohd; Thomas, Paraidathathu; Li, Shu Chuen;
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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practice is still popular among the Malaysian population nowadays although western or allopathic medicine is the first line of treatment. Dissatisfaction with health services and therapeutic effects of western medicine or preference for holistic, integrative approach in treatment are common reasons favouring the increasing popularity of CAM practices. The efforts toward integration of CAM and western medicine in Malaysia were rather slow and in a piece-meal fashion. Strategic efforts in strengthening government and self-regulation among practitioners, formalizing education, promoting research, and cultivating national and international networks are necessary to achieve an integrative system. Regulations to restrict the practice and sale of CAM products to licensed practitioners, strict and mandatory registration of the practitioners, inclusion of CAM in essential medicines list, and pricing regulations must be comprehensively discussed. Development of curriculum, offers of scholarship and incentives, promotion of courses and seminars for professionals is necessary to increase the numbers of CAM experts. Malaysia should follow the efforts of other countries on the production and documentation of local CAM data, allocation of funding, and establishment of research centres to assess the efficacy of potentially useful local products. Local and international collaboration in research and continuous education is important for exchange of knowledge and skills. In conclusion more coordinated efforts in regulation of CAM practice and products, formalizing CAM training and education would significantly move the process forward and allow the public to enjoy more health benefits from CAM practice in Malaysia.
integrative medicines;complementary and alternative medicine;healthcare reform;health practice;holistic health;
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