The Government is regulating Chinese medicine including acupuncture.
Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement on Saturday, saying practitioners of the ancient system of health and wellness, used in China for thousands of years, would be standardised from Monday.
“The Government has agreed to regulate Chinese medicine including acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine and tui na massage therapy,” Little said in a press release.
“Chinese medicine is currently a self-regulating practice in New Zealand, with up to 1200 practitioners who act independently in assessing, treating, and referring patients, and usually operate in sole practices.”
Little said putting the regulation in place would provide assurance that practitioners are appropriately qualified and competent to practice.
The Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (Designation of Chinese Medicine Services as Health Profession) Order 2021 would see the profession become a designated health service under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance (HPCA) Act 2003.
Health Minister Andrew Little said the new law would come into force on Monday.
A new Chinese Medicine Council will establish the qualifications and competency standards that will need to be met to be registered as a practitioner of Chinese medicine.
“The purpose of the HPCA Act is to protect the public by providing mechanisms to ensure that health practitioners are competent and fit to practise their professions,” Little said.
More than 25 different health professions are regulated under the HPCA Act, including nurses, dentists, midwives, chiropractors, osteopaths, and podiatrists.
Suitably qualified candidates for membership of the new Chinese Medicine Council are encouraged to register their interest with the Ministry of Health.