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Complementary and alternative therapy for autism

24th Feb 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Leon Perera 
MP for Aljunied GRC

Question No. 724
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry will introduce a licensing regime for individuals and companies that provide complementary alternative therapy for children with autism and, if not, why; and (b) whether the Ministry has reviewed the effectiveness of complementary alternative therapy in the market and, if not, whether there are any plans to do so.

Written Answer
1.     MOH has no plans to license Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatment for autism as it has not been proven to be clinically effective. MOH does not recommend parents and caregivers to adopt CAM as a replacement for mainstream evidence based treatment for their children with autism.  Healthcare professionals caring for children with autism should also advise parents and caregivers about relevant, safe and effective health services and therapies.

2.     While CAM services are allowed as they are for health support and general well-being, and generally of low risk to patient safety, the Medicines (Advertisement and Sale) Act (MASA) prohibits advertisements by CAM practitioners referring to any skill or service relating to the medical treatment of any condition, including autism, to protect consumers from misleading claims.  

3.     The Ministry will not hesitate to take action against those who breach the law. If the public is aware of CAM providers making egregious claims, they may lodge a complaint through the MOH hotline or website.

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