I believe the federal government should reconsider their decision to impose sales and service tax (SST) on physiotherapy and Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) treatments, which may see a significant increase in prices when the new 8 per cent Sales and Service Tax (SST) comes into effect in March 2024.
I believe health care should be seen as part of an integrated holistic ecosystem, where there is a symbiosis or integration of modern medicine and TCM, with proper control and supervision, that contributes to the overall wellbeing of a patient.
This is a common, widespread, and evidence-based trend, and thus should be exempted from the said SST.
Traditional Chinese medicine is one of the branches of medicine that has been incorporated and is being regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) through the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016, as well as the National Traditional and Complementary Medicine Policy.
Additionally, based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 (NHMS 2015), TCM plays an important role in the health care of Malaysians, as almost 30 per cent of the population uses such services for their overall wellbeing.
This is why I welcome the move by Deputy Finance Minister Lim Hui Ying to engage with the industry, the Customs Department, and the Finance Ministry’s tax division to find a solution, as the implementation of the SST will affect about 7,000 local practitioners.
I believe that exemptions must be given to any facility managed by practitioners registered under the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 [Act 774] and the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016 [Act 775] for the purpose of health care.
Dr Kelvin Yii is the Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching.
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