Integration or Dis-integration in Medicine?

Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – Towards Integration?

With the increasing tempo of statutory regulation on the practice of acupuncture, Chinese Medicine and Herbal Medicine, how does an individual practitioner respond to this new reality?

The EU Directive 2004/24/EC on traditional herbal medicine is now implemented by the MHRA and medical agencies throughout Europe. Practice registration will complete the double edge sword on which the practitioner will be facing. Both the ‘Foster Report’ and The Chief Medical Officer for England Sir Liam Donaldson’s ‘Good doctors, safer patients’ recommendations to the government will suggest fundamental changes to the regulation of doctors and CAM in the UK. The position of GMC registered doctors in the practice of acupuncture, Chinese medicine and CAM will also be determined in the framework of their medical practice in the future. Similar situation exists in many countries throughout the world, with UK, Canada, Australia and to some extends the US leading the way in the legislation process for CAM.

Practitioners are now facing the pressure for change not only in terms of practice standards and clinical governance, but also to consider the validity of their practice, skill and continued development. CPD and re-accreditation requirement will be a compulsory reality. Future NHS reform may also feature these changes with the requirement of CAM to provide evidence based practice. The recent debates raised by the letter to the Times from the 10 eminent UK professors and the much publicised response from Prince Charles at the World Health Assembly on 23 May 2006 signified the beginning of a new era in medicine and healthcare.

Whether you are practicing conventional evidence-based-medicine, complementary holistic medicine or acupuncture and Chinese medicine, you are facing a choice: integration or disintegration?

Precisely on this theme the Chinese Medical Institute and Register together with twenty other international institutions are hosting a conference at the Royal College of Physicians, London, entitle “Integrative Medicine – the Future?” The Event gathers over two hundreds experts from all over the world to discuss the direction of medicine and healthcare, WHO deputy Director-General will also be chairing a session on communicable diseases. Many clinical and research papers will be presented to update the practitioner on the latest integrative practice.

“To be or not to be?” we must now answer the question!

The editor
January 2007

Taken from the 2007 AcuMedic Review – Click here for PDF