I was brought to the notice of the letter 'MMA, stop misleading public on alternative health-care', and was rather amused by it. It looks to me like it was written by a very angry person who felt very threatened by what Malaysian Medical Association is trying to do.
Let me assure him that MMA is not against alternative medicine, but just wanted some control similar to what allopathic doctors are getting to prevent people who want to make a quick buck and take advantage of the public's trust in alternative medicine.
Traditional and complementary medicine certainly have a role to play in our health-care system but those who practise them must be qualified in their field of practice and ethical in their practice.
We have often come across complaints of abuse including false and over claims as well as adulterated alternative medicines and the use of some unproven gadgets. Some practitioners of alternative medicine even use gadgets such as stethoscope they are not trained to use just to impress their customers.
Recently, such businessmen are also very quick in taking advantage of situation like the present severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) scare. Unfortunately, some of these unscrupulous people prey on the terminally ill. I represent MMA to the Health Ministry committee on traditional/complementary medicine. We are working towards integrated medicine and strict, but fair control, of alternative medicine to benefit our population.