Interest in T&CM, which has been used for thousands of years to treat and prevent diseases, is undergoing a revival given the unique health challenges of the 21st century. More countries are also recognising the role of T&CM in their national health systems.
In Malaysia, T&CM has played a vital role, supporting health maintenance, disease treatment, and quality of life enhancement when cure is not feasible.
To facilitate the integration of T&CM into the healthcare system, the Government has established a comprehensive framework involving key ministries. The Ministry of Health (MOH) oversees T&CM practices, while the Ministry of Human Resources and Ministry of Higher Education handle the education and training of T&CM practitioners. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security ensures the availability and quality of medicinal plants, while the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (NPRA) and the Medical Device Authority (MDA) oversee regulatory aspects of T&CM products.
Recognising the demand and potential of T&CM, the Government has actively worked towards integrating these practices into the national healthcare system. In 2013, the Government officially recognised the T&CM Act, linking it to public health and implementing measures to ensure safety and quality. As part of these efforts, T&CM units have been established in selected public hospitals, providing T&CM services to patients.
At present, T&CM services are accessible in 15 public hospitals, including well-known institutions such as Putrajaya Hospital, Port Dickson Hospital, Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, and the National Cancer Institute. The pioneering T&CM unit, established in 2008 at Putrajaya Hospital, offers traditional Malay massage, acupuncture, and herbal treatments for post-stroke, chronic pain, and cancer patients. These initiatives highlight the integration of T&CM within the healthcare system, providing comprehensive and supportive care for patients.
While T&CM services are currently limited to a few private hospitals, primarily focusing on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the integration of T&CM into private healthcare is gaining momentum. Thomson TCM, a part of the TMC Life Sciences Group, offers a comprehensive range of TCM services specifically designed to address diverse health concerns.
To support the growth and innovation in the T&CM industry, MIDA offers incentives to attract investments. Currently, 24 operating companies are engaged in the production of traditional and herbal products, including herbal supplements in various forms.
The launch of the National T&CM Blueprint 2018-2027 marked a progressive phase for T&CM in Malaysia. The blueprint signifies the Ministry of Health’s enduring commitment to regulate and professionalise T&CM practice and practitioners nationwide. Collaborative efforts involving various ministries, government agencies, academic institutions, professional bodies, NGOs, and the private sector have shaped the blueprint. Key stakeholders have been engaged through the establishment of Steering Committee and Technical Committees, working towards executing the initiatives outlined in the blueprint.
Extensive observations and studies have highlighted the valuable role of T&CM in improving overall quality of life. The T&CM market is projected to experience remarkable growth, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.9% from 2022 to 2029, reaching approximately USD362.97 billion. Europe has emerged as the region with the highest market share, as medical institutions and hospitals actively integrate alternative medicine, particularly acupuncture, into their healthcare systems.
In the Asia Pacific region, there is a strong focus on herbal supplements, driving the growth of the T&CM industry. Countries like China and Korea have fully embraced T&CM, seamlessly incorporating it into their national healthcare systems. This integration underscores the increasing recognition of the value and efficacy of T&CM in enhancing healthcare outcomes.
The T&CM industry in Malaysia presents abundant business opportunities, as more individuals gravitate towards natural products and take charge of their health. MIDA remains committed to fostering an environment that nurtures the growth and success of the T&CM industry in Malaysia. To learn more about investment opportunities in this industry, please contact the Healthcare, Education and Hospitality Division at https://www.mida.gov.my/staffdirectory/healthcare-education-hospitality-division/