Fighting deregulation of TCM and Acupuncture, NDP joins coalition event

Originally published on March 4, 2022

QUEEN'S PARK — The Ontario NDP is standing with a coalition of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and patients fighting against Premier Doug Ford’s decision to deregulate the entire field. MPP Peter Tabuns took part in a press conference hosted Friday by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

"Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists are health professionals," Tabuns said. "They order treatments and herbal medicines that ease pain, treat chronic conditions, and help people live healthier lives. If used improperly, herbal medicines can cause serious health consequences. This is a medical profession that cannot be deregulated.”

Dissolving the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncturists of Ontario will impact the livelihoods of the more than 2,700 health care professionals registered with it.

"Doug Ford's decision to get rid of the College, without warning or consultation, is reckless," Tabuns said. "Letting non-professionals practice Chinese medicine will hurt the health and safety standards of the industry and the reputation of practitioners.”

Tabuns stressed that Ford's deregulation of the College means insurance plans will stop covering treatments like Acupuncture, meaning higher costs for patients and less business for Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture practitioners.

"Improvements to the College can be made to address challenges, like lowering registration fees and expanding exam offerings to Chinese," Tabuns said. "But the solution to existing issues should not be to cancel the College altogether and destroy a system that's been in place for almost a decade.

We cannot allow the Ford government to erode the field of traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture in Ontario — to take away these important treatments from Ontarians by delisting them from health plans, to undermine the professionalism and status of the practitioners, and to get rid of critical health and safety requirements.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists are among our pandemic heroes and deserve respect like any other health care professionals. The Ford government must reverse its decision and ensure that the College remains in place, and traditional Chinese medicine is regulated in Ontario."

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