2016 New Year Address
Zhao Cheng， President of CSCMA
The new year of 2016 is only a couple of months away. We will soon say good-bye to the fruitful Year of Goat and usher in the hopeful Year of Monkey. I’m confident that we, together with the CSCMA, will make still greater progress in the year to come.
The year of 2015 is another year of great progress for the Society. We are here celebrating the 21st Anniversary and having an Evening Party for its founding. With the growth of the society, the TCM and Acupuncture program in Canada saw a steady development and popularity in the past 21 years. CSCMA successfully hosted a number of international conferences, symposiums, seminars and forums, respectively in 1995, 2000, 2006, 2008 and 2014, highly acclaimed by the various TCM and acupuncture organizations and greatly promoting its understanding and recognition by the local and Federal government. The many professional conferences in Toronto, especially, effectively introduced the traditional Chinese medicine to the mainstream communities and government officials, which positively helped the legislation of TCM and acupuncture in Ontario. November 23rd of 2006 witnessed the official third reading of Bill 50 — TCM and Acupunture, put forward by the Liberal government, after a long struggle and hard work. George Smith, minister of Ontario Health and Long-Term Care, announced that the introduction of legislation to regulate the profession of traditional Chinese medicine by the McGuinty Administration “gives Ontarians confidence in alternative health care.” This was a milestone of the development of TCM and acupuncture in Ontario, and paved the way for the official registration of TCM professionals starting from April, 2013, which marked the formal recognition of TCM and acupuncture as a legal health profession open to the public service. Furthermore, the Federal government recognized acupuncture as a health care service, along with the HST exemption. CTCMPAO started the process of transfer from Grandparented Registration Certificate to General Registration Certificate in July, 2014. CSCMA organized several seminars for document study with translation, trying to help its members to better understand the process, improve their professional knowledge and facilitate their transfer.
The Society has organized seminars and CEU programs of many topics ever since its birth to carry out the general principles of the By-Law of the Society, which lays out its mission: “to unite the TCM practitioners in order to promote the legislation and specialization of TCM; ……to hold academic seminars at regular intervals in order to effectively improve the diagnosis and treatment skills and academic techniques and regulate the medical conduct of its members; strengthen its functions of supervision and guidance; and increase the exposure of its members to the public.” The current duty of CSCMA is to ensure safe practice, and smooth transfer from Grandparented to General Certificate. For this purpose, the Society held two seminars on August 23 and today respectively this year. CSCMA will provide its members with further opportunities and benefits to facilitate their transfer either through Academic Document Review or through Case Study Assessment, and strive for the future assessment of the Doctor Title for TCM and acupuncture professionals (for which education background and continuing education will be required). The Society will invite TCM specialists to give lectures, CEU courses and other TCM-oriented programs. CSCMA will also host seminars to help members with limited English understanding to study related CTCMPAO documents and provide translations of practice-related rules and codes to secure safety for both practitioners and the public.
The Society’s purpose is to protect the legitimate rights and interests of its members, and a strong group with a unified voice is needed to do so. We have to fight for their own benefits. Even after the Grandparented registration, the Society still has a lot to do, like negotiating a lower group rate of medical liability insurance for its members (though currently our members are enjoying the lowest rate in the profession), facilitating a smooth transfer from Grandparented registration to General registration, creating opportunities for continuing education and academic exchanges, developing future policies and regulations of TCM and acupuncture, striving for access for TCM and acupuncture to the current health care systems, advocating mutual support between members, organizing collective actions against unfair treatments, lobbying the government and parliament for the interests of the profession. All of these efforts require a strong professional body and financial resources, as well as the assistance of volunteers and enthusiastic people. CSCMA’s immediate action is to help its members with their Grandparented-General transfer, including a language facilitating program, which requires everybody’s initiative and participation.
Brilliant achievements as CSCMA has made, and great progress TCM has achieved, we are clear that there are still setbacks in our advance, and there still exists some anti-legislative and dividing elements undermining the unity of the Society. There is still a long way to go before TCM and acupuncture is fully developed in Canada, so we must keep working hard. The Society needs its members to stand by the Society for joint efforts to guarantee their interests. Without the backup of a united group, without its members’ sincere support, all the aforesaid achievements and progress will get us nowhere.
Dear friends, looking back and forward, I feel a mixed feeling welling into my mind as I’m confident that 2016 is another year of hope. I am grateful to all of you for your long and unwavering contributions to and support for the growth of the Society and development of TCM and acupuncture in Canada. Let’s continue helping each other forward at this new starting point, and strive for a better 2016. Let’s pool all our efforts and resources for a better and more brilliant future of TCM and acupuncture.
Finally, let me take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy time. May all your dreams, wishes and expectations come true in the year to come. May all your efforts be duly rewarded!