The Victorian experience of transitional registration for Chinese Medicine practitioners and its implications for national registration Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Background. Statutory registration of Chinese Medicine (CM) practitioners was introduced in Victoria in 2000. The application assessment process for those who were granted registration during the transitional period (2002–04) was resource intensive, as little was known about their age, education, practice and language proficiency. This study offers insights that may be useful for the planning of national registration to commence in 2012. Methods. Data were extracted from registration application forms submitted to the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria (CMRB) between 2002 and 2004, using pre-defined data collection forms. Results. In 2006, 639 ‘grandparented’ Victorian CM practitioners had been registered, with a median age of 44 years old (range 23–86). There was a higher proportion of younger female, English-speaking, acupuncturists v. a higher proportion of older male, non-English-speaking, Chinese herbalists. There were few CM practitioners in rural areas, particularly herbalists. More than one-third of practitioners had obtained qualifications overseas and almost half of these practitioners provided no evidence of past study in professional issues and medical ethics. Conclusions. Ageing, diversity in qualifications and training, English proficiency, and level of study in professional issues and medical ethics represent major challenges for the implementation of CM national registration in 2012. What is known about the topic? Statutory registration of Chinese Medicine (CM) practitioners was introduced in the state of Victoria in 2000. The process of registering practitioners during the transitional period was resource intensive, because of the diverse background of the workforce. In May 2009, Health Ministers of all States and Territories and the Commonwealth agreed to include the CM profession, from 1 July 2012, in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for the health professions. What does this paper add? This paper, based on data from the registration application forms submitted to the Chinese Medicine Registration Board of Victoria (CMRB) between 2002 and 2004, provides a demographic and geographic profile of the 639 Victorian CM practitioners grandparented under the transitional arrangements of the Chinese Medicine Registration Act 2000. This study offers insights that may be useful for the planning of national registration for the Chinese Medicine profession. What are the implications for practitioners? With the introduction of national registration for the CM profession, this study provides critical data for developing effective strategies to implement the grandparenting process in all states and territories in Australia. Particularly, data collected in this study will help to deal with assessing knowledge in ethics and the healthcare system, biomedical sciences and language proficiency as part of the assessment process for a substantial number of applicants during the national registration of CM practitioners.

authors

  • Zhou, Wenyu
  • Zhang, Anthony Lin
  • May, Brian H
  • Lin, Vivian K
  • Carlton, Anne-Louise
  • Xue, Charlie Changli

publication date

  • 2012