Chinese traditional medicine clinics in Yangon will be shut down if they are found to be operating illegally, the regional Minister for Social Affairs said last week.

U Naing Ngan Lin gave the undertaking in the regional hluttaw on October 13 after concerns about the legality of the clinics were raised by U Than Naing Oo (National League for Democracy, Pabedan-1).

Naing Ngan Lin said any clinics operating without government registration were illegal.

“I have already launched my own investigation into two of the Chinese clinics and if they are found to be unlicensed they will face legal action,” the minister said.

Than Naing Oo had asked if the clinics, which have proliferated in the six downtown townships and can also be found in other areas of Yangon, were registered and legally entitled to provide treatment.

He said the clinics offer traditional Chinese medicine and are staffed by Chinese doctors who cannot speak Myanmar.

The MP called for prompt action against the clinics before they start offering illegal procedures, such as abortions and organ harvesting.

Than Naing Oo said the clinics were promoting their services by distributing flyers on buses and in crowded areas.

The clinics claim to be to be able to treat men’s urinary tract infections that normally required patients to travel abroad for treatment.

“Even private, well-known hospitals in Yangon have difficulty curing the urinary tract infections that affect most men,” said Than Naing Oo, adding that the Chinese clinics also claimed to be able to cure cancer.

He told the assembly that the clinics also charged an excessive amount of money for their treatments. He said he had met one woman with a metabolic disorder who was told by the Chinese clinics that she would be cured if she had an injection and took a particular medicine for a month – at a cost of about K1.2 million, or K40,000 a day.