KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Health will soon introduce a two-and-a-half year diploma course in Islamic Medical Practice at a local university here.
The director of the ministry's Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM) Division, Dr Ramli Abd Ghani, told Bernama the course content was developed with the assistance of prominent local practitioners like Dr Harun Din, Datuk Amran Kasimin, Dr Hatta Sharom and other T&CM practitioners.
The aim was to train Malay healers in the true teachings of Islam and to avoid "syrik and khurafat" (polytheism) practices in some Malay-Muslim communities, he said.
Dr Ramli said the graduates, who would be certified registered practitioners, would be self-employed to treat "santau" (a kind of deadly poison coupled with magical incantations) and other spiritual problems.
They might also be employed in selected government institutions in the future, he added.
Dr Ramli said the division was also working on introducing degree courses in traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, naturopathy, homeopathy, Malay medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Chiropractic care.
It would also introduce diploma courses in acupuncture, naturopathy, aromatherapy, reflexology and Malay massage, he added.
Dr Ramli said these courses could be offered at the International Medical University, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Inti College, Cyberjaya University College and Community College.
Most of these courses would be conducted by local lecturers and some, like Chinese traditional medicine, acupuncture and Ayurveda, might need the assistance of foreign academicians, he said.
Dr Ramli said the division was also working with the Association of Malaysian Spas (AMSPA) operators to establish local training institutions so as to develop the local spa industry for health tourism.
He gave the assurance that all these courses, which were part of the T&CM, would be properly evaluated with the cooperation of the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and it would be ensured that the practitioners provided safe and effective services.
He said the T&CM was gaining worldwide recognition, and that Malaysia would also develop this sector as it was popular among Malaysians because almost 14,000 patients had opted for the T&CM since its introduction in three government hospitals, in Putrajaya, Kepala Batas and Johore Baru, about 18 months ago.
Dr Ramli said the division was set to expand the service to three other government hospitals one each in Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak by August this year.
He said that by 2010, the T&CM service would be available in 10 government hospitals and two clinics in the country. - Bernama