Statutory Regulation Best to Safeguard the Public

By The Association Of Traditional Chinese Medicine, PRNE
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

LONDON, February 16, 2011 - The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK), ATCM,
welcomes today's Health Department announcement on statutory regulation of
herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners by the Health
Professions Council.

Since the House of Lords Select Committee report on
Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2000 suggesting a statutory
regulation for herbal medicine and acupuncture, the Government has worked to
introduce such regulation for over 10 years. The Association of Traditional
Chinese Medicine UK (ATCM) has been actively involved since 2002 in the work
conducted by the Health Department to impose statutory regulation. "We
participated in two Health Department Statutory Regulation Working Groups,
and have been, and remain, committed to the statutory regulation of TCM
practitioners," said Dr. Huijun Shen, ATCM President.

Three Health Department Working Group reports as well as two
public consultations that demonstrated overwhelming opinion in favour of
statutory regulation to safeguard the public. The Health Department made a
proposal for our professions to be regulated by the Health Professions
Council (HPC) in 2005 and all the work was directed towards this until April

"We believe statutory regulation is the best way to safeguard
the public. The title of TCM practitioners, as well as herbal medicine
practitioners and acupuncturists, must be statutorily protected to stop bogus
people from using these titles - a real danger to the public," Dr. Shen

"We would also like to draw the Government's attention to the fact
that thousands of Chinese practitioners have safely and legally practiced in
the UK for many years. Many of them may not speak fluent English. While we
agree that there should be a language requirement for the registration of new
practitioners under the statutory regulatory scheme, a special exemption or
transitional arrangement under the 'Grandparenting' scheme should be in place
to allow those practitioners, who have practiced in the UK for many years but
do not speak perfect English, to continue to practice under the statutory

"It would be unfair and injurious if these regulations force
them to cease their practice and lose their only livelihood," concluded Dr.

Notes to editors:

The Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK)
represents over 700 trained practitioners of acupuncture and traditional
Chinese medicine working throughout the UK, 80% of who are of Chinese origin.
Founded in 1994, the ATCM is the largest self- regulatory body for the
practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) including acupuncture. Since
2002, the ATCM has been actively involved in, and remains committed to, the
Department of Health move towards statutory regulation of the sector.

All full members of ATCM hold a university, college or other
recognised professional qualification at or above BSc level. The website lists all practising members and a local practitioner
can be found via the website's "Find A Registered Practitioner" search.

Dr. Huijun Shen is the president of the Association of
Traditional Chinese Medicine UK (ATCM), who is available for comment on
+44(0)7904-150127, e-mail: , ATCM Tel/Fax: +44(0)20-8951-3030

Dr. Huijun Shen is the president of the Association of
Traditional Chinese Medicine UK (ATCM), who is available for comment on
+44(0)7904-150127, e-mail: info at , ATCM Tel/Fax: +44(0)20-8951-3030

will not be displayed