Bandar Kuching MP urges federal govt to reconsider imposing SST on physiotherapy, traditional medicine treatments

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, Jan 3: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii has is urging the federal government to reconsider its decision to impose sales and service tax (SST) on physiotherapy and traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) treatments.

Dr Yii said the implementation of the new 8 per cent SST in March 2024 may result in significant price increases for these treatments.

“I believe healthcare should be seen as an ‘integrated holistic ecosystem’, where there is a symbiosis or integration of modern medicine and TCM with proper control and supervision for wellness of a patient.

“This is a common and widespread evidence-based trend worldwide, and thus should be treated similarly and also be exempted from said taxes,” he said in a statement issued today.

Furthermore, Dr Yii, who is a special advisor to the Ministry of Health (MOH), stated that traditional Chinese medicine is one of the branches of services that the MOH has incorporated and regulated through the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016 as well as the National Traditional and Complementary Medicine Policy.

“In addition, based on the National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015, it shows that TCM plays an important role in the health care of Malaysians as it shows that almost 30 per cent of the Malaysian population uses such services for their overall wellness.

“That is why I welcome the move by Deputy Finance Minister Lim Hui Ying to engage with the industry, Customs Department and the Ministry of Finance’s tax division to find a solution to this as it will affect close to 7,000 local practitioners,” he said.

Additionally, Dr Yii believed that exemptions must be given to any facility managed by any practitioner registered under the Allied Health Professions Act 2016 [Act 774] and the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Act 2016 [Act 775] for the purpose of healthcare. — DayakDaily