Practitioners of alternatives treatments such as acupuncture and herbalism should be regulated, the Health Professions Council (HPC) has said.
It already regulates 13 health professions, including chiropodists and podiatrists, dieticians, paramedics, physiotherapists, radiographers and speech therapists.
Each profession has a professional title, which can only be used by those who join the HPC’s register. Using the title without being on the register is a criminal offence.
The HPC is calling for the regulations to also cover practitioners of Chinese medicine and other traditional-medicine systems practised within the UK.
A Department of Health report has said regulation is “in the public interest”, and that it is important that people have confidence that such practitioners are “properly trained, understand the limits of their competence and know when and to whom to refer”.
The report says: “There has also been widespread concern about the safety, in particular, of traditional Chinese medicines when inappropriately administered.”
HPC chief executive Marc Seale said: “The HPC was set up in order to protect the public, and we strongly believe that statutory regulation can more effectively assure that practitioners are meeting standards and are fit to practise.”
Copyright © Press Association 2008
Should alternatve medicine practitioners be regulated? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)
“Yes. There are too many Chinese herbalists describing themselves as doctors, and some even call themselves ‘Doctors of Accupuncture’, both of which are misleading and detrimental to bona fide practitioners” – Malcolm Wallace, Halesowen