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ALLOW TRADITIONAL AND COMPLIMENTARY MEDICINE TO OPERATE WITH PROPER SOPs - CHAN


Chan Foong Hin

9 July 2021 KOTA KINABALU: Member of Parliament for Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin said Traditional and Complimentary Medicine (TCM) should be allowed to operate with proper Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). He stated that allowing the sector to operate fully will help chronic patients who have relied on TCM for a long time to resolve their urgent needs. "Sabah has been allowed to enter Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) effective tomorrow (July 10). It basically means that the SOPs have been relaxed and that more service providers which are previously not deemed 'essential' are allowed to operate. "As of now, the Sabah Government has yet to issue its own SOPs for Phase 2, and therefore the people here in Sabah have started to rely upon the National Security Council (MKN)’s NRP Phase 2 SOPs," he said in a statement today. "According to the latest guideline, Traditional and Complimentary Medicine (TCM) centres and practitioners are limited in their services under the four phases of the NRP. During Phase 1, only online consultations and medicine deliveries are allowed. "Face-to-face consultations can be conducted with physical distancing during the Phase 2 while home visits and treatments involving physical contact will be allowed under Phase 3. The whole sector can run without restrictions under Phase 4," he added. Chain asserted that although TCM practitioners such as acupuncturist or tit tar practitioners and even licensed chiropractors are allowed to operate, the SOPs do not allow them to have physical contact with their patients during Phase 1 and Phase 2. He said TCM practitioners are not able to work without physical contact with their patients to properly provide their services. Instead, services such as acupuncture involves only minimal physical contact using disposable needles with the practitioners wearing gloves when conducting the treatment. "The way this federal government draft SOPs is very unfortunate. It is as if they have never consulted with the stakeholders or representative from the industry before making announcements. That is certainly not the way. "Therefore, I urge the PN government to stop working in silos and start listening to the people. Allow TCM sector to operate fully will help chronic patients who have relied on TCM for a long time to resolve their urgent needs. "I have been informed that most of those who work in the TCM industry and even chiropractors have been vaccinated as frontliners earlier on in May, and therefore it is time to allow these inoculated people to provide their services and spur the economy."