Regulation of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine in Ontario
Started back in 2006, the regulation of acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Ontario has finally been enforced on Apr. 2013. Now practitioners of Chinese medicine and acupuncturists in Ontario are regulated professions such like ordinary doctors and other health care professionals, and Ontario is the 4th province in Canada that has acupuncture and/or traditional Chinese medicine legitimated after British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec. The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario (CTCMPAO), which was created in 2006, is the only organization in administration. Health care providers who wish to perform acupuncture, prescribe Chinese medicine or herbal remedies must register with CTCMPAO after passing a series of exams and display that they have treated at least 2,000 patients in the last five years.
There are two titles/designations from CTCMPAO corresponding to two capacities in Chinese medicine and acupuncture respectively, i.e., registered traditional Chinese medicine practitioners (R.TCMP) and registered acupuncturist (R.Ac). R.TCMPs are authorized to practice traditional Chinese medicine providing to patients a combination of therapies including TCM herbal medicine and acupuncture within the scope of traditional Chinese medicine practice; they are also entitled to use the title R.Ac. R.Acs are authorized to practice traditional Chinese medicine using acupuncture, including tuina, cupping and moxibustion etc., excluding TCM herbal medicine.
Although such credentials does not ensure the highest competency, they do indicate that the practitioner has met the minimum standards to treat patients using acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine. Other factors that should be taken in to consideration in choosing a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and/or an acupuncturist are education, experience, practice style, cost, etc.
Written by Cathy (Huijuan) Ding, M.Sc., R.Ac., R.TCMP, C.M.D., Apr. 23, 2012www.kitchenerwaterlooacupuncture.com