The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is set to introduce an independent undergraduate degree program in Chinese medicine starting in 2024, tailored to address the healthcare requirements of Singapore.
At present, NTU provides a dual-degree option in biomedical sciences and Chinese medicine for individuals aspiring to become practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Starting next year, a newly established four-year degree program, developed in collaboration with local Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) institutions and the Ministry of Health’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board, will be introduced.
This marks the inaugural locally accredited Chinese medicine undergraduate degree program, as jointly announced by NTU and the Ministry of Health on Wednesday (Nov 15). The initial group of students will commence their studies at NTU’s School of Biological Sciences in August 2024.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, during the unveiling of the degree program on Wednesday, expressed his belief that the role of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Singapore’s healthcare system is poised for ongoing development.
He stated that TCM’s effectiveness lies in its holistic approach to improving well-being and preventing diseases. With Singapore’s aging population and the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses, TCM has the potential to play a more significant role. In preparation for this, the TCM practitioner community must engage in initiatives such as increased clinical research, reinforcing self-regulation among TCM practitioners (already in progress), and enhancing education and training to cultivate proficient TCM practitioners for local needs.
The Ministry of Health (MOH), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), and the Ministry of Education jointly reviewed the existing Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) degree. Their consensus was that it is opportune for NTU to introduce its independent degree program, according to Ong Ye Kung.
Training Initiative for Practitioners
Mr. Ong also revealed the initiation of a TCM clinical training program starting in January. This program targets recently licensed TCM practitioners who completed their licensing exams in 2023 and is a comprehensive one-year structured clinical training initiative.
The chosen practitioners will undergo clinical rotations at four TCM institutions, namely NTU Chinese Medicine Clinic, Public Free Clinic Society, Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, and Singapore Thong Chai Medical Institution.
During each three-month rotation, trainees will be provided with a monthly training stipend, as stated by MOH and NTU.
At each of the four TCM institutions, trainees will receive one-on-one mentoring from clinical mentors who have recently completed training facilitated by MOH.