The Department of Health recently ran a consultation to find out whether people think that traditional medicine practitioners should be regulated, or not. The consultation considered Practitioners of Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Other Traditional Medicine Systems Practised in the UK. It closed on the 16th November 2009 and all responses are now being considered.
According to the EHTPA newsletter, over 6000 responses were received. As a result, it will be some time before the responses are all collated and presented to the Department of Health. This gives us time to continue to impress upon our MPs and MSPs our strength of feeling on this issue and urge them to pass these concerns on to the relevant health departments.
With this in mind, EHPTA are organising a further Mass Lobby of Westminster:
Date: Wednesday 3rd February
Venue: Old Palace Yard, Westminster
The EHPTA newsletter, Frankincense has news from Westminster and updates on press coverage of the issues.
In Scotland, Mary Scanlon MSP submitted a written question to parliament:
To ask the Scottish Executive what is being done to ensure that people continue to have access to traditional herbal medicines as currently used by traditional medicine practitioners.
and received the following reply from Nicola Sturgeon:
Practitioners of herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine are already able to use licensed herbal medicines and this will continue. They are also able to use certain unlicensed herbal medicines currently exempted from various licensing requirements through the Medicines Act 1968, but European legislation may impact on this after 2011. This was highlighted as a factor for consideration in a joint public consultation by all four UK countries on whether, and if so, how, practitioners of herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture should be regulated. That consultation closed on 16 November 2009. Over 4,000 responses were received and are to be analysed to inform future decisions.
(Scottish Parliamentary Business, Written Answers Report 23-27th November 2009, Question S3W- 28900)