Requirement waived for registered TCM practitioners offering massage services

The change is part of an ongoing review aimed at reducing compliance costs for businesses.
The change is part of an ongoing review aimed at reducing compliance costs for businesses.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Registered traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) physicians will no longer have to get a CaseTrust mark in order to run a massage establishment from Jan 1 next year, which can help them save at least $2,400 every two years.

This is provided that the physicians are working at their primary place of practice registered with the TCM Practitioners’ Board, and if he or she is also the massage establishment licensee.

The change is part of an ongoing review aimed at reducing compliance costs for businesses.

Speaking on the sidelines of an industry dialogue on Thursday (Oct 18), Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said the move comes after feedback from TCM practitioners who run massage establishments.

"There are a small number of TCM outlets which may use tuina massage as a front but are actually providing illegal sexual services," said Mr Chee, who is also Senior Minister of State for Education.

"This (change) will help to strike a better balance between the need to maintain standards and to keep costs affordable for our businesses so that they can devote more resources to looking after patients and training their staff," he said.

The authorities took into account how TCM physicians are already regulated by the TCM Practitioners' Board, which oversees the professional ethics and conduct of these practitioners.

 
 

Currently, TCM practitioners who run massage establishments or spas in premises such as Housing Board shophouses, shopping centres or hotels - which are classified as Category I spas - require CaseTrust accreditation.

With the change, they would no longer require this accreditation from next year.