In its consultation report for enacting new legislation that was released several days ago, the Department of Health of the United Kingdom proposed for the first time that legislation be enacted to confer upon practitioners of traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) a title and status that are independent of acupuncturists and herbalists. This meant that TCM practitioners in England are likely to get independent legal status. The British Association of TCM announced this news at its Chinese New Year celebrations a few days ago.
Wu Jidong, vice president of the association, said during the Chinese New Year function that since the House of Lords published its white paper in 2001, the legislative management of supplementary and alternative therapies including TCM has drawn widespread attention among the government and the public. In the past, the U.K. government separated TCM acupuncture from Chinese herbal medicines by putting the former into the first group and Chinese herbal medicines along with alternative herbal medicines from other regions into the third group.
In 2002 the Department of Health set up the Herbal Medicine Regulatory Working Group (HMRWG) and the Acupuncture Regulatory Working Group (ARWG), but did not accord TCM an independent status. Therefore, all TCM organizations have vigorously lobbied the relevant departments to attach greater importance to the whole TCM industry and to recognize its independent legal status.
(Chinanews.cn February 25, 2005)