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What is Happening with Acupuncture?

What is Happening with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ontario?

On Monday Feb 28/22 the Ontario provincial government announced it is in the process to de-regulate Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which means it would no longer be considered a Regulated Health Profession. Translation: this means anyone could administer acupuncture and herbs as there would no longer be regulating body.

This is a Public Safety Issue

With de-regulation, there is no review of education or experience, anyone can do Acupuncture or prescribe herbs - which is extremely unsafe. There is no way for a patient to know if they are seeing someone with verified training or not. If there is any form of malpractice (e.g. sexual assault) by a practitioner there is no longer a regulatory college for patients to report to.

What is the Government Saying?

The Ministry of Labour says this is about increasing access for TCM practitioners, many of whom are immigrants, and may face language barriers and other issues. These are important issues of discrimination that can be solved through implementation of multilingual competency exams (such as those in place in BC). Many of us wanted this at the beginning of regulation almost 10 years ago and are NOT opposed to this.

How will this Affect Patients?

If we become de-regulated it is possible insurance companies will stop your coverage for Acupuncture by TCM trained practitioners. This will reduce your access to this incredibly helpful, safe, and cost-effective health care modality that has benefited thousands in this province. Not to mention it will affect the businesses, students and livelihoods of the people involved with this medicine.

The best way to have your voice heard is to call or email your MPP and tell them you are opposed to Schedule 5 of Bill 88. The Association behind the Registered Acupuncturists and TCM Practitioners of Ontario has put together a template email for patients to send which can be accessed using this link:

We would also appreciate it if you could take the time to sign our petition at:

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