Chinese Medicine Board of Australia - 2021/22 annual summary
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2021/22 annual summary

Chinese medicine in 2021/22


4,839 Chinese medicine practitioners

  • Down 0.5% from 2020/21
  • 0.6% of all registered health practitioners

0.5% identified as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

57.8% female; 42.2% male


Age: <25 0.2%, 25-34 9.3%, 35-44 23.2%, 45-54 27.5%, 55-64 24.8%, 65-74 13.1%, >75 1.9%


Divisions: Registered as: 98.1% acupuncturist, 64.6% Chinese herbal medicine practitioner, 24.0% Chinese herbal dispenser

  • 36.2% registered in one division
  • 40.9% registered in two divisions
  • 22.9% registered in three divisions



45 notifications lodged with Ahpra about

40 Chinese medicine practitioners

  • 76 notifications about 63 Chinese medicine practitioners made Australia-wide, including HPCA and OHO data
  • 1.3% of the profession

Sources of notifications

Sources of notifications: 60.0% Patient, relative or member of the public, 8.9% Other practitioner, 4.4% Board initiated, 4.4% Health complaints entity, 22.2% Other

Most common types of complaint

Most common types of complaint: 24.4% Clinical care, 11.1% Breach of non-offence provision - National Law, 8.9% Boundary violation, 8.9% Offence against other law, 6.7% Medication, 4.4% Health impairment, 2.2% Communication, 2.2% Behaviour, 2.2% Confidentiality, 29.0% Other

6 immediate actions taken

2 mandatory notifications received

  • 1 about professional standards

Notifications closed

Notifications closed: 36 notifications closed 16.7% conditions imposed on registration or an undertaking accepted, 5.6% cautioned or reprimanded, 11.1% referred to another body or retained by a health complaints entity, 66.7% no further action


19 practitioners monitored for health, performance and/or conduct

763 cases being monitored at 30 June:

  • 5 for conduct
  • 1 for health
  • 4 for performance
  • 3 for prohibited practitioner/student
  • 750 for suitability/eligibility for registration

Criminal offence complaints

11 criminal offence complaints made

  • 10 about title protection
  • 1 about advertising breaches

11 closed

Referred to an adjudication body

No matters decided by a tribunal

No matters decided by a panel


No appeals lodged

From the Chair

Issues this year

This year the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia celebrated 10 years of national regulation of Chinese medicine in Australia. This anniversary provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on how important this development was for the profession, with Chinese medicine practitioners now part of a national registration system that works to ensure the Australian community have trust and confidence that registered health practitioners are competent, safe and qualified to practise.

Regulatory response to COVID-19

The Board continued to work with local jurisdictions to keep practitioners up to date with how local public health orders affected the profession. In August the Board joined co-regulators and the Therapeutic Goods Administration in publishing advice to the public on evidence-based information for COVID-19. In December the Board joined other National Boards providing guidance for practitioners on facilitating access to care in a COVID-19 environment.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Policy updates

In November the Board kicked off the first of the new regulatory examinations with multiple-choice examinations. These examinations were held again in March. The second half of the regulatory examination, the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE), will be piloted soon, with the first session to occur by the end of 2022.

The Board conducted public consultation on proposed revisions to two guidelines, Guidelines on safe Chinese herbal medicine practice and Guidelines on infection prevention and control for acupuncture and related practices. The Board received much valuable feedback from these consultations, and we thank the participants for taking the time to assist the Board. The annual review of the Board’s Nomenclature compendium was also conducted.

The Board released a revised Code of conduct
in partnership with several other Boards.

Stakeholder engagement

In September the Board met with representatives of all professional organisations; as part of this meeting, members heard a fascinating presentation on the National Scheme’s commitment to cultural safety and the elimination of racism in healthcare. In December the Board held a practitioner webinar and provided an update to practitioners on policy issues in Chinese medicine and emerging trends from notifications, and presented a case study that illustrated the notification process.

The Board reviewed and renewed its Reference Group membership this year, with a new membership to include representatives from the insurance industry as well as all education providers.

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.

Other news

We were delighted to learn that Ms Bing Tian was re-appointed in October for a second term on the Board. This year the Board has been focused on reviewing membership and recruiting to the various Board committees, and we appointed new members Dr Yun Shen PhD and Ms Christina Lam to the Board’s Policy, Planning and Communications Committee (PPPCC) and the Board’s Registration, Notifications and Compliance Committee respectively. In June we bade farewell to a long-standing member of the PPPCC, Ms Glenys Savage, whose contribution to the committee was highly valued.

Adjunct Professor Danforn Lim

Page reviewed 1/09/2023