This month, the Chinese Medicine Board is celebrating 10 years of national regulation and registration for the Chinese medicine profession. We are now a nationally recognised, regulated profession, ensuring that all practitioners meet similar standards and follow guidelines and the public can be reassured that the Chinese medicine practitioner they choose to see is suitably qualified and experienced.
Last month the Board met face-to-face for the first time since I have been Chair. Board members gathered in the Ahpra Sydney office for the June Board meeting. Everyone commented on how much more dynamic our discussions can be in-person, rather than all struggling with the mute button in online meetings! The meeting location also gave us an opportunity to meet with our co-regulator, the New South Wales (NSW) Chinese Medicine Council.
And this month we are introducing a new segment in the newsletter – ‘Meet your Board’ – so you can learn more about the people on your Board.
Adjunct Professor Danforn Lim
Chair, Chinese Medicine Board of Australia
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In June, while in Sydney for our Board meeting, we met with our co-regulator in NSW, the NSW Chinese Medicine Council. The joint meeting certainly generated a lot of discussion, and it was a great opportunity for the Board and the Council to discuss topics relevant to practitioner regulation and to exchange experiences and views. The Board is fortunate to enjoy a close relationship with the NSW Council, as we work together to protect the public.
The Board recently closed public consultations on two proposed revisions to the Board’s guidelines – Guidelines for safe practice of Chinese herbal medicine and Infection prevention and control guidelines for acupuncture practice. We received a considerable amount of feedback on these revisions, much of it from the profession.
Consultation is an important part in ensuring ‘right-touch’ regulation, as it gives the profession and the public an opportunity to provide their views and input into the Board’s work. We are reviewing all the feedback received and considering further revisions to these guidelines based on this feedback. We will let you know the outcome of this consideration.
All Chinese medicine practitioners have professional and legal obligations under the National Law – throughout the year, not just at renewal.
Do you know which of the following is an obligation of a registered Chinese medicine practitioner?
If your answer was ‘all of them’, then you are correct!
It’s important to be aware that for some of these obligations, the onus is on you to contact the Board. For example, you must notify us:
The revised Code of conduct for Chinese medicine practitioners came into effect in late June, along with resources to help practitioners understand and apply the code. Maintaining a high level of professional competence and conduct is an essential part of providing good care, and you have a professional responsibility to be familiar with the code and apply its principles in your practice.
More information can be found on the Ahpra website.
Stephanie Campbell lives on the Country of the Awakbal People – near Lake Macquarie, NSW.
Stephanie is a practising lawyer who has worked across both the public and private sectors. She has experience in corporate governance, enterprise risk management, accounting practices and leadership, and has sat on various health and disability-related boards and committees. Stephanie is committed to developing and implementing best practice standards and procedures which promote transparency, accountability and good decision-making.
Stephanie explained that her interest in a role on the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia stemmed from her familiarity with the regulatory environment, including her previous appointment on the Northern Territory Board of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. With a thorough understanding of the National Law, Stephanie is able to appreciate how the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme operates to protect the public.
When asked about what she brings to the Board in her role as a community member, Stephanie said:
‘I have excellent written and verbal communication skills and always aim to use plain language that is tailored to my audience. As a professional, I adopt a collaborative practice approach, and, when making decisions, always seek to balance the relevant legal and regulatory obligations with the appropriate ethical considerations.’
Reflecting on what she is passionate about, Stephanie’s priorities were clear:
‘My number one priority is public safety and, as a community representative and advocate, I am passionate about representing the views of the vulnerable or less fortunate, with a keen interest in rural and remote healthcare. In particular, years spent living and working in central Australia cemented my commitment to improving the health, social and economic inequities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. I now live in regional NSW with my family but remain as committed as ever to ensuring all members of our society have access to safe healthcare delivered by regulated health practitioners.’
The Board’s latest quarterly registration data has been released. The report covers 1 January to 31 March 2022. At this date, there were 4,795 registered practitioners: 4,553 with general registration, 12 with both general and non-practising registration, 329 non-practising registrants and one practitioner with limited registration.
For more details, including registration data by principal place of practice, age and gender, visit our Statistics page.
A new hub on the Ahpra website means it’s now easier to find helpful resources.
The Resources hub was launched in late June and aims to support practitioners’ professional practice and the public to make safer health choices. It consolidates multiprofession policy resources for practitioners and the public and makes resources easier to find.
The hub also links to National Board websites for profession-specific guidance and information.
Information is grouped for practitioners and the public so visitors to the hub can quickly locate the information relevant to them. For example, telehealth guidance for practitioners and what the public should look out for in health advertising.
New resources will be added to the hub as they are developed.