Monday, June 27, 2011

Warning: Acupuncture in California May Be in Jeopardy

Despite the fact that California’s State Bill 628 is flawed and nonsensical, it will be heard by the California Assembly Committee on July 5, 2011. This much is clear, however. The legality and reputation of acupuncture as a safe healing modality may be in jeopardy.
If it passes, SB 628 will create a new category of providers called Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) traumatologists. While these traumatologists will be under the jurisdiction of the California Acupuncture Board (CAB) and will appear to be affiliated with TCM, nothing could be further from the truth. TCM has nothing at all to do with this new field and being a licensed acupuncturist isn’t even a requirement.
California’s professionals are required to prove they are educated by earning degree credits and passing exams in their fields. TCM traumatologists don’t have to prove education in TCM traumatology because no standards exist.
Acupuncturists have a clear scope of practice outlined for anyone to inquire about, but the committee who will decide what these TCM traumatologists can and cannot do, will not be formed until March, 2012. Furthermore, four physicians or surgeons are to be in charge of the committee of six. Since no physicians will be applying for a position as a traumatologist, it makes little sense that they make up the committee. This makes as much sense as a committee of nurses choosing a school’s teachers.
The bill states that when manipulation techniques are to be done, a physician must be present to observe. Firstly, the use of manipulation techniques implies this new field should be affiliated with chiropractic care rather than TCM. Secondly, a practitioner is to call a doctor to come over and observe each time a traumatologist does a manipulation technique. Why be certified if it means Intern status for the traumatologist’s whole career?
Those who are licensed acupuncturists had to pass a grueling written test. TCM traumatologists, on the other hand, will not take an exam at all despite the CAB being responsible for their actions. Presently, acupuncturists are required to take fifty hours of continuing education within every two year renewal period. Conversely, TCM traumatologists only have to wait five years, pay, and reapply.
Acupuncture testing for licensing occurs every year and is ongoing. With TCM trauamatologists, applications for certification are only to be accepted from January 1, 2012 to December 15, 2012. If TCM traumatologist certification is so legitimate, why only have certification possible for one time only, and for such a short time? The average person wouldn’t even know about the opportunity to get certified. Further, according to this bill, the CAB is required to accept the applications of all those who are seeking certification as long as they meet the criteria─criteria that the committee can establish after reading resumes.
As it says on the California State Oriental Medical Association’s (CSOMA) website, “SB 628, as amended on May 31, 2011, could harm the reputation of licensed acupuncturists, by association, if TCM traumatologists engage in unethical or negligent practice.” Could this be the real intent behind this bill? CSOMA goes on to say, “The bill appears to be focused upon satisfying the needs of a special interest group that is unable or unwilling to obtain licensing or certification through existing means.” Senator Leland Yee supposedly thought this bill up by himself, working without any special interest group’s influence.
Currently, all we know is who will not benefit: the CAB and California residents. If this bill passes, this much is clear: through association, the legality and reputation of acupuncture as a safe healing modality in California may be in jeopardy.
For your opposition to have been recorded in the committee analysis, you had to have faxed the committee consultant Joanna Gin before close of business on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 916.319.3306.{20BBA5EO-F400-4A31-802C-C4416989696D}

ALERT: In June 2012, the They tried again with SB 1488.  It was voted down 6-3.  They're going to keep trying to pass this kind of absurd legislation, so look out!
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1 comment:

  1. Health was really serious issue to everybody, keeping healthy was not an easy task to be done daily,but we all know that illness was unpredictable, I have also read various article and said that Acupuncture in Beverly Hills can be used to cure some disorders in some cases.