Ontario is planning to stop regulating traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists, saying it would allow more people to work in the field.
Contained in a recently tabled piece of labour legislation is a section that would wind up the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario, the profession’s regulatory body that was established in 2013.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the proposed legislation would see oversight transition to the Health and Supportive Care Providers Oversight Authority, though registration with the authority would only be on a voluntary basis.
“The practice of traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture has been safely practiced for centuries,” Alexandra Hilkene said in a statement.
“This approach brings Ontario in line with other jurisdictions and will support individuals who have historically faced barriers to practicing, ensuring Ontarians have access to culturally appropriate care.”
When the regulation was first introduced, some practitioners said it would prevent people from working as traditional Chinese medicine practitioners if they had learned it from their elders instead of in a school setting, or if they spoke insufficient English.
Liberal House Leader John Fraser, whose party established the college, said it was done to protect the public.
“The purpose of regulatory colleges and regulation especially to health-care and things like engineering, the first purpose is patient safety, protect the public,” he said.
“So what I need to understand is, how is removing this college protecting the public? I don’t think it is.”
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said she is worried about the change.
“Any time there’s a reduction in the oversight of health and safety and quality when it comes to health-care services, I get nervous,” she said.
Traditional Chinese medicine is an ancient treatment that focuses on acupuncture, herbal remedies, proper nutrition and Chinese massage to balance the yin and yang – or contrary forces – in one’s system.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2022.
View original article here Source