Our Background, Mission and Vision
Singapore Government set up the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB) in the beginning of the 21st century. To safeguard the interests of patients, the TCMPB has, as planned, stipulated minimum standards on qualification and assessment and promulgated a code of ethics and conduct for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners. The TCMPB has also standardized the curriculum of accredited TCM courses and implemented the Singapore TCM Practitioners Registration Examination (STRE). Those who meet the criteria and pass the STRE are permitted to practise Chinese Medicine in Singapore. With these measures in place, the practice of TCM has become part of Singapore healthcare system.
Today, Singapore has about three thousand TCM Physicians. Most of them are graduates of universities or TCM colleges. They possess TCM bachelor degrees or professional diplomas.
Most of the younger Physicians are knowledgeable in biomedical science as well as TCM. They are effectively bilingual, thus enabling them to interact and communicate well with practitioners of western medicine and medical science as well as with patients from different ethnic groups. Senior physicians, on the other hand have rich experience in seeing patients. In addition, many benefit from specialized knowledge in the effective treatment of certain diseases, handed down to them by their predecessors who practised TCM before them. They too win the confidence of many patients.
The effectiveness of treatment will determine the viability of the practice of TCM, which is based on a unique set of theoretical systems. However, as TCM treatment is customized according to the manifestation of illness and constitution of individual patients, good treatment outcome can only be achieved through long-term observation of the patient under the keen eyes of the TCM Physician. Hence, the development pathway for the TCM Physician is longer as compared to that of the Practitioner of Western Medicine.
While we appreciate the advantages that our younger TCM practitioners enjoy in terms of their knowledge in biomedical science and communication skills, we also appreciate the superiority of the more senior ones in terms of their flexibility in the use of TCM to achieve excellent treatment outcomes. If we can create a common platform for the young and their seniors to join force in the development of TCM practice, it will certainly serve to enhance the standing of TCM practice in society.
Singapore’s robust judiciary and administrative systems have helped our healthcare system earn a good reputation internationally.
If we can allow TCM to play a bigger role in our healthcare system, as we continue to accord importance to western medicine in treatment, Singapore may well one day become a reputable healthcare centre that uses an integrated approach in treatment using both western medicine and TCM. This will benefit not only Singaporeans but also mankind at large.
We look forward to working with the different TCM societies and organizations to realize the potential of TCM. For the common diseases, we aim to improve the theory and practice of their treatment. And, for the more complicated diseases, we seek to conduct more in-depth study and research. By doing so, we hope that every TCM practitioner can become a generalist in treating common illnesses and a specialist in treating certain other less common illnesses. In this way, we will gradually create a positive environment for the development of TCM research and specialization in treatment.
The interim council for the Academy of Chinese Medicine, Singapore (ACMS) comprises 14 members representing TCM societies and the Government. Several meetings were conducted from 2013 to 2015 to discuss the content of the Constitution and to draw up the framework and direction for the development of ACMS, taking into account the current situation of the TCM sector in Singapore.
ACMS is designated to be the leading academic organization in TCM, with the aim of promoting TCM education and knowledge, enhancing clinical skills, driving evidence-based TCM through research and promoting academic interaction between TCM and western medicine practitioners.
The establishment of ACMS marks a new chapter in the development of TCM in Singapore. ACMS shall collaborate with various TCM societies and organizations to promote the advancement and succession in the practice of TCM.