Friday, December 9, 2005

Slitherman spews his venom

George Smitherman and his band of bureaucrats want to tighten their grip on alternative forms of health care:

People who rely on traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture can rest assured that practitioners will meet strict training requirements under proposed legislation introduced today, Health Minister George Smitherman said.

If passed, the legislation would create a self-governing regulatory college that would set minimum professional standards, ensure that practitioners are kept abreast of the latest techniques and develop a complaints and discipline process.

“We believe that the professionals who practice in this area deserve a say in how their professions are run,” Smitherman said in the legislature.
Presumably they already do have a say, as they are practicing in an essentially unregulated environment.
“We also believe that all citizens deserve to know exactly what they’re getting.”
Power is addictive and knows no bounds. The monopoly on public health is incomplete. Meditation is too private and vitamins are still available without a prescription. Citizens are unfit to choose for themselves and the government is here to help you.
While there are no official cases pointing to the misuse of traditional Chinese medicine, Ontario Liberal member Tony Wong, who helped write a government report on the practice, has said he has heard of horror stories where people left acupuncture offices with needles still jutting out of their bodies.
Wong and his gang construct a report based on unsubstantiated stories of misuse and incompetence, while the public system continues to crumble. There are plenty of official cases pointing to incompentence in the public sector but the Ontario Liberals focus on a practice that's been around since the 1st millennium. Although mistakes undoubtedly occur at acupuncture clinics, a government report mandating a 'self-governing' body will do nothing to prevent such mistakes. Better a needle sticking out of a patients arm than a surgical instrument left inside the body by a tired and overworked surgeon.


Alberta Pat said...

I think you should ask whether the oprofession itself wants regulation. The answer is overwhelmongly "yes", by the way. Ever since the Regulated Health Professions Act was proclaimed some 10 to 12 years' ago, various health "professions" have been pressing to be included. It's the status, and it's the possibility of being added to the OHIP insurance scheme that attracts them. A regulated college can also discourage "fringe" practititoners, thus ensuring its own monopoly on licensing, and thus admission, to a place at the trough.

I write as a former Registrar of a health college in Ontario, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Tony Wong ... said he has heard of horror stories where people left acupuncture offices with needles still jutting out of their bodies.

Yeah and I heard about some people who got knocked out when they were on a business trip and their kidneys were stolen. And there's that story - everyone knows it - about the lady who accidentally exploded her cat when she tried to warm it up in a microwave oven. Please someone start a chain email with these stories, and put everyone in Queens Park on the "to" list, so that Tony Wong can get started on new legislation to prevent these horrific events from ever recurring!

P.S. Remember a few years ago when a licensed, regulated, inspected and government funded laboratory in Toronto gave dozens of people hepatitis because they couldn't be bothered sterilizing their electrodes when they were giving people EEGs? There oughta be a(nother) law!