This decision is very good news for all of herbal medicine practitioners including our TCM practitioners. It is also good news for the public because practitioner regulation will be underpinned by medicine legislation which will provide further safeguards to protect public health. Let’s welcome this right decision made by UK government.
The regulatory status of TCM is our hope and dream. Some of colleagues at ATCM had struggled for this target for many years. As a council member of ATCM, I feel very happy to see the good result of regulation. Traditional Chinese Medicine has received great development in the last two decades in UK. There are more than three thousand clinics all over the UK. Chinese medicine became more and more popular in this country. However, some practitioners do not have good qualification. Because there is no status regulation, anybody can practise Chinese medicine here. Many clinics run like a business with the sole purpose of making profits. Some patients enter a Chinese herbal shop irrationally just as they are choosing a Chinese restaurant because they simply do not know where to find advice or recommendation even if they believe in TCM. Many medical mishaps occurred just because of unqualified practice. After April 2012, this condition will not happen again and the public will get better protection, as a register of all qualified practitioners will be kept and made available to the public.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is an Undiscovered Science. This is the title of one of my blog paper last year. TCM origin is from China but it is a common treasure of human beings. It had been widely accepted by almost every country of the world. There is no international border for science, the same for TCM. Chinese medicine is very effective in treating many diseases. For some disease it always works if you get the correct diagnosis and have selected the correct treatment principles. In China the practice of TCM has been strictly regulated by law. All the practitioners must have received at least 5 years training. After they are qualified from university they still need to pass a practice licence examination, any unlicensed practice is illegal. I think TCM practice should be regulated by law in any country for the public’s safety. I would like to say the UK government has made a wise decision this time.
Cold winter is gone, spring is coming. In the UK, TCM’s spring will come very soon.