Chinese medicine will be officially regulated

New Zealanders who see traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can be sure they are properly trained and registered, thanks to a new law that came into force on Monday, Health Minister Andrew Little said.

“The government has agreed to regulate Chinese medicine, including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and tui na massage therapy,” Andrew Little said.

“Chinese medicine is currently a self-regulated practice in New Zealand, with up to 1,200 practitioners who act independently to assess, treat and refer patients, and generally operate in single practices.

“Public and industry consultation supported the regulation of Chinese medicine. Having this regulation in place will provide assurance that practitioners are properly qualified and competent to practice.

The Competency Assurance of Health Practitioners (Designation of Chinese Medicine Services as a Health Profession) Ordinance 2021 regulates Chinese medicine under the Competency Assurance Act 2003 Health Practitioners (HPCA) starting November 1.

“The purpose of the HPCA Act is to protect the public by providing mechanisms to ensure that healthcare practitioners are competent and fit to practice their profession,” said Andrew Little.

“More than 25 different healthcare professions are regulated under the HPCA Act, including nurses, dentists, midwives, chiropractors, osteopaths and podiatrists.

The Council of Chinese Medicine will establish the qualifications and standards of competence that must be met to be registered as a practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Suitably qualified candidates for membership in the new Council of Chinese Medicine are encouraged to register their interest with the Ministry of Health.

© Scoop Media