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Initial Response to the Department of Health's proposals for statutory regulation of acupuncture and herbal medicine

Date: Tuesday, 02 March 2004 15:23

The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is reviewing the Department of Health's (DOH) proposals for statutory regulation of acupuncture and herbal medicine as an initial step in the process to ensure greater protection for patients and higher standards of complementary therapies.


The consultation document makes recommendations for a shared Complementary and Alternative Council or "CAM Council" to be established to act as a regulator for both the acupuncture and herbal medicine professions. The CAM council will keep a Register of members; determine standards of education and training; and advise on and administer procedures relating to conduct and performance.

Mike O' Farrell, BAcC Chief Executive, comments: "The BAcC has been actively campaigning for the statutory regulation of acupuncture for the benefit of patients. The document from the DOH is the first step in what will be a challenging but critical process.

"The wide ranging and complex issues covered by the proposals require much further discussion among members of the acupuncture profession, interested parties and the public. Today's launch is a starting point for further debate that we hope will achieve the most practical and effective solution for regulation."

The British Acupuncture Council welcomes statutory regulation as a means of ensuring the best treatment for patients from highly skilled practitioners. It also believes that an appropriately regulated and trained profession will increase the benefit to patients by higher standards of acupuncture being made available to a greater number of patients e.g. not just in private practice but increasingly widely through NHS outlets such as hospitals and GP surgeries.

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