New Registration Will Improve Standards of TCM Practice in Australia
From July 1, 2012 it will be mandatory for TCM profession (acupuncturists and Chinese herbal medicine practitioners) to be registered and meet minimum qualifications for education, training and English with the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia. This also assesses practitioners trained overseas who wish to practice in Australia. Registered individuals must maintain and develop their skills and spend at least 20 hours every year on training.
“I believe national registration will lead to the future professionalization of TCM and integration into Australian Healthcare system,” says Chris Zaslawski, member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA). “There has been a general acceptance by the public regarding the role of acupuncture as well as herbal medicine for a variety of diseases”(Autumn 2012, Jing-Luo)
AACMA has consistently set the national benchmarks for acupuncture and Chinese medicine education and practice in Australia for more than 30 years. It also promotes its accredited practitioners being recognised by government and health industry in Australia.
TCM is developing rapidly in Australia. There are over several thousand acupuncturists practicing in Australia. In Victoria the Chinese medicine profession has been regulated via statutory regulation for more than 10 years. More and more Australians are turning to complementary and alternative health services, spending a record $4.3 billion on such treatments in 2009-2010 financial year. It has also been found that people are using more herbal medicines than pharmaceutical drugs, 4 times in Australia and 5 times in Germany. The chairman of the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia, Charlie Xue, has defended the new standards, saying they were set ''following extensive consultation with practitioners and stakeholders''. The board has called on practitioners to apply promptly for registration to meet the deadline.
The purpose of news regulation will ensure that registered practitioners have the required level of training and ensuring the interests of patient health and safety.
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