Chinese Medicine Board of Australia - 2022/23 annual summary
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2022/23 annual summary

Chinese medicine in 2022/23


  • 4,823 Chinese medicine practitioners
    • Down 0.3% from 2021/22
    • 0.5% of all registered health practitioners
  • 380 first-time registrants (including new graduates)
  • 0.4% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 58.4% female; 41.6% male


Figure 5. Age Figure showing age groups of Chinese medicine practitioners. The biggest group is aged 45 to 54 years, decreasing on either side of this age bracket. Very few practitioners are aged under 25 or above 75 years.


Bar graph showing there are 98.2% acupuncturists, 64.6% Chinese herbal medicine practitioners and 25.4% Chinese herbal dispensers.

Pie chart showing that 36.2% of practitioners are registered in one division, 39.5% are registered in two divisions and 24.3% are registered in three divisions.


  • 14 notifications lodged with Ahpra about 12 Chinese medicine practitioners
  • 41 notifications about 33 Chinese medicine practitioners made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
    • 0.7% of the profession Australia-wide

Sources of notifications

Pie chart showing that more than three-quarters of notifications were raised by a patient, their relative or a member of the public. And much smaller numbers were raised by a government department or the ombudsman.

Most common types of complaints

Pie chart showing that half of complaints were about a breach of non-offence provision in the National Law or behaviour. Smaller amounts were about communication or clinical care.

Notifications closed

Pie chart showing that most of the 32 notifications closed resulted in no further regulatory action. The most common regulatory action was conditions imposed on registration.

  • 1 immediate action taken
  • 1 mandatory notification received
    • About professional standards
  • 16 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct during the year
  • 16 criminal offence complaints made
  • No notifications finalised at tribunal
  • No matters decided by a panel
  • No appeals lodged

A report from the Chair

Highlights this year

The Chinese Medicine Board of Australia held a pilot of the clinical component that forms part of the Board’s new regulatory examinations. This completed the project phase of the development of the regulatory examinations. Work was ongoing to hold the first clinical examination, including the appointment of registered Chinese medicine practitioners as examiners. Establishing the regulatory examination is an important milestone and enables the Board to assess whether relevant overseas-trained practitioners have the knowledge, clinical skills and professional attributes needed to safely and competently practise as an acupuncturist or Chinese herbal medicine practitioner in Australia.

Policy updates

The Board concluded its review of two guidelines, Guidelines on safe Chinese herbal medicine practice and Guidelines on infection prevention and control for acupuncture and related practices. The Board considered the valuable feedback it received from consultations and finalised both guidelines for publication.

The Board began the review of the Patient health records guidelines and conducted the annual review of the Nomenclature compendium.

Stakeholder engagement

In February, the Board met with representatives from the six national professional associations:

  • Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA)
  • Australian Natural Therapists Association (ANTA)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
  • Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Society of Australia Ltd (CMASA)
  • Chinese Medicine Industry Council (CMIC)
  • Federation of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Societies of Australia (FCMA).

There was robust discussion on several profession-specific issues. The Board published a communiqué following the meeting.

The Board was pleased to be able to meet face to face with the Chinese Medicine Council of New South Wales. The joint meeting was a great opportunity for the Board and the council to exchange experiences and views.

In May, the Board visited education providers in Sydney. It was an opportunity to see their centres and clinical facilities and learn more about practitioners’ and students’ clinical experiences in Chinese medicine practice and education. They visited:

  • Endeavour College of Natural Health
  • NICM Health Research Institute
  • Sydney Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Western Sydney University.

The Chair and Executive Officer met with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Chinese Medicine Council of New Zealand and discussed the regulation of the profession. This provided an opportunity for the Chair to share the experience of regulation in Australia as the council works towards regulating Chinese medicine practitioners in New Zealand.

Other news

The Board was delighted to learn that Ms Stephanie Campbell was re-appointed for a second term on the Board, and welcomed Professor Hui Chen to the Board’s Policy, Planning and Communications Committee in January.

Adjunct Professor Danforn Lim, Chair

Page reviewed 27/05/2024