Legislation Gives Ontarians Confidence In Alternative Health Care
TORONTO, Nov. 23 /CNW/ - Legislation regulating the practice of
traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has passed third and final reading and will
become law once it receives Royal Assent, Health and Long-Term Care Minister
George Smitherman announced today.
"This legislation regulating traditional Chinese medicine will help
ensure that Ontarians who choose alternative health care like TCM and
acupuncture are receiving safe, quality care from practitioners who have
recognized skills and training," Smitherman said.
Upon Royal Assent, TCM will be the first new health profession to be
regulated in the province since 1991. As a result of the legislation:
- A self-governing regulatory college will be created with the
authority to set standards of practice and entry to practice
requirements for the profession.
- The scope of practice will be defined so that the use of the title
"doctor" by certain members of the profession will apply to
practitioners who meet certain standards.
- The performance of acupuncture will be restricted to members of the
new College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and
Acupucturists of Ontario, members of certain other regulated health
professions and to persons who perform acupuncture within a health
This legislation builds on MPP led consultations which resulted in a
report released in 2005.
"I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the hard work of
members on all sides of the Legislature who had a hand in making this
legislation a reality, to the benefit of TCM practitioners, acupuncturists and
Ontario patients," said Smitherman.
Ontario becomes the second province in Canada (after British Columbia) to
regulate traditional Chinese Medicine.
Traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic system of health care that
originated in China several thousand years ago. Therapies include acupuncture,
herbal therapy, tuina massage, and therapeutic exercise. TCM views the body as
a whole and addresses how illness manifests itself in a patient and assesses
and treats the whole patient, not just the specific disease.
Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.