- Saturday, April 26, 6:30-10pm @ Fatima Hall
- Fridays, May 2 & 9, 2-5pm @ Hannam and H-Mart Plazas (along North Road, south of Lougheed Hwy in Burnaby and Coquitlam)
- Saturdays, May 3 & 10, 11am-3pm @ Hannam and H-Mart Plazas
How much Chinese in Chinese medicine?
GST/HST - Acupuncture exempted from tax in new Federal Budget
Another long and hard fought battle has been won by our profession - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s office confirmed the following good news in the Federal budget announcement Tuesday, Feb 11th:
GST/ HST -新联邦的税务预算已将针灸的GST免除
经历漫长而艰辛的斗争，中医行业又赢得了一次胜利-2月11日星期二： 财政部长，Jim Flaherty办公室已经证实联邦预算公布的以下消息：
Page 197 of the Budget discusses “Health Related Tax Measures”. Minister Flaherty will be exempting acupuncturists’ professional service from the GST/HST. More information on this measure can be found in Annex 2 on page 320.
Members please note, this change does NOT take effect immediately, but we will advise when it does. This important change has come about through working together - proof of the potency of a single, focussed voice. A dedicated group of colleagues have been working toward this goal for over 4 years, investing countless hours of personal time as well as their own money to attend meetings all over the country as they worked to repeal this unfair tax. With the generous support of Senator Yonah Martin
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
C — British Columbia
The Focus Group - CTCMA
Five of our board members (William O. Hardman, Weidong Yu, Edward Liu, John Yang, Daeyou Kim, and Beverly Osachoff) participated in a focus group held by the CTCMA on January 25th, voicing our members’ convictions that they want to enjoy a broad scope of practice in BC and the full toolbox of modern tools that enhance the complex array of what we do in our clinics. ATCMA members Rod LeBlanc and Phillipe Souvestre were unable to attend, but shared their perspective via a pre-prepared submission. This focus group was a follow up to the email survey that registrants received last fall asking how we felt about various techniques and protocols and who should be doing them.
五位理事（William O. Hardman，于卫东，刘宝第，杨光芳，Daeyou Kim, and Beverly Osachoff)在1月25日参加了CTCMA举办的核心小组会议，并传达了会员的心声。BC省的中医需要一个更广大的发展空间，也希望在未来可以合法使用传统中医所能包括的所有诊疗手段，并可以借助一些现代医疗手段来帮助临床诊疗。协会成员Rod LeBlanc 和Phillipe Souvestre 也参与了此次会议，尽管没能够亲临现场，但他们通过提交的材料也表达了各自的观点。
We learned that the language and legislation are changing - mostly in response to changing times - and that registrants in BC are poised to see our reserved acts broaden in scope instead. If we understand correctly, this means that if the CTCMA approves our recommendations there is a greater likelihood that our industry will have legislation behind us to allow us to embrace not only the full spectrum of TCM techniques, but also the plethora of modern diagnostic and therapeutic tools that are the realities of our time.
Some participants reminded us of the need to stay true to the basics of TCM, and we agree this is vital to our trade. We suggest, however, that if the ancient Masters of TCM had had access to the sophisticated tools we have today, they would certainly have embraced them with great delight. In the end, it is not the tools that we use in our clinics that set us aside from anyone else claiming to do what we do without a TCM background, it is the fundamental framework of understanding - our TCM knowledge - that makes our skill sets special. We did not lose the fundamentals of acupuncture when we moved from stone needles to fine steel needles, nor should we lose anything fundamental if the needle of today is made of photons instead of stone; The traditions are what matter.
It was a complex day, but we left the meeting feeling that we had aired all of our member’s concerns and reinforced what the consultants told us they already knew - that BC’s TCM and Acupuncture practitioners are passionate, professional, and responsible and we hold our patients and their safety in high regard. Stay tuned to the CTCMA for further updates.尽管我们度过了漫长的一天，但是离开时心中又是坦然的。因为我们把会员所有的疑虑都已传达，并且让他们知道BC省的执业者热爱中医，专业负责。在我们心中患者安危至上。请大家一起关注CTCMA的反馈。
The Premier’s New Year’s Celebration
No wonder Chinese New Year is our favourite holiday - who can resist all the excitement? Leaping Lion dancers, clanging cymbals, and a sea of excited guests dressed in red brocade visiting over plates of steaming long noodles and spicy fish morsels. Not your average business meeting perhaps, but our leader and president, Dr. Fei Che, is no ordinary quiet man, either. With his calm smile, he greets everyone like a treasured old friend.
The ATCMA is determined to make TCM and acupuncture a part of every BC family’s health care regime. What better way to open a brand new year than to lead the brand new board of directors to dinner with the Premier and her entire team? The following ATCMA board members were honoured to represent the members at this festive event: Fei Che, William O. Hardman, John Yang, Yan Bin Ma, Poppi Sabhaney, Daeyou Kim, Vincent Yu, Jackie Cheng Han Wu, and Beverly Osachoff.
中医针灸协会决心要使中医针灸纳入BC省家庭医疗保健体制。会长车飞携新理事会成员与管理局总监及其团队欢聚一堂喜迎新年到来，这注定将是不同寻常的一年。以下会员参加了这次聚会：车飞, William O. Hardman,杨光芳, 马艳斌, Poppi Sabhaney, Daeyou Ki，余存海, 吴承翰, and Beverly Osachoff.
Jackie Cheng Han Wu and Poppi Sabhaney
吴承翰 和Poppi Sabhaney
Poppi Sabhaney and Beverly Osachoff
L to R: Vincent Yu, Fei Che, John Yang, MLA Richard Lee, Beverly Osachoff, Daeyou Kim, Yanbin Ma, William O. Hardman.
从左到右：于存海，车飞，杨光芳，MLA Richard Lee，Beverly Osachoff, Daeyou Kim，马燕斌，WIlliam O. Hardman.
An Interview for CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition
How does BC’s perspective on TCM and language(s) compare to the other provinces just coming online with licensing? You’ll want to catch this upcoming CBC Radio documentary for a detailed examination on the matter. We’ll broadcast the time and date as soon as it is available.
L to R: Fei Che, Beverly Osachoff, Karin Wells of CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition, John Lee.
从左到右：车飞，Beverly Osachoff, Karin Wells CBC周日节目编辑，
An Interview with The Georgia Straight
Congratulations to Kwantlen Polytechnic University for BC’s first public TCM programme!
A recent article in The Georgia Straight about Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s new TCM programme garnered the following response from ATCMA member, Joe Ranallo.
Here is Joe’s article in its entirety:
Note: this article is submitted in response to a recent article by the Georgia Straight. You can find the original article here:
East and West are about to Meet – Traditional Chinese Medicine as a BC University Discipline
Submitted by Joseph Ranallo, BA (Hon), MA, R. Ac.
It is not surprising that, on the eve of what could be one of the BC Liberal government’s most recent and enlightened health care decision, that the Doctors of BC Association, formally the BC Medical Association, should object to the province’s January 24, 2014, announcement that, as early as 2015, Kwantlen Polytechnic University may host the first Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) public funded diploma program in British Columbia.
The current Doctor’s Association and its predecessor have complained before. In 1996, the BC Medical Association objected to the BC government’s creation of the CTCMA, the body that licenses and regulates BC TCM practice. In the late 90’s, the same Association opposed the BC government’s initiative to provide TCM patients with the MSP coverage. Last year, following the Liberal government’s 2013 pre election throne speech, in which the government announced its intention to make TCM a university discipline, the Doctor’s objected again.
This time, in Carlito Pablo’s February 5, 2014 Georgia Straight article, “Traditional Chinese Medicine is still a divisive issue in BC,” Doctors of BC Association’s chair of the counsel on health promotion, Dr. Lloyd Oppel, argued, in a phone interview, that, because the government has failed to considered the “perspective of the scientific medical community” in its current decision, it may be putting the public at a health risk. Let’s consider the evidence that Oppel presents to support his case.
Oppel contents that some Chinese herbal ingredients may be toxic. To support his contention, he alludes obliquely to the unfortunate misuse of a member of the Aristolochia plant genus by a practitioner from Europe who, at the time, may not have been following TCM protocols. Because of this highly publicized case, in 2001, Health Canada removed this plant genus from the market.
This plant, which according to a Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristolochia) consists of over 100 species worldwide, has not only been a part of TCM, but has also been a component in the medicine systems of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. More recently, it was included in the allopathic medical practices of Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other western countries. For centuries, products from this plant genus have been included in what, today, we consider to be Western Medicine and its fore runners. Is Oppel suggesting that, because, until recently, it too has had a long history of using ingredients from the Aristolochia genus, Western Medicine should be eliminated from the university curriculum? Is he, in fact, suggesting that his own credentials should be questioned? If he is not, his argument about keeping TCM from a university curriculum because it has used this herb, in the past, does not hold water. According to the old cliché, what is good for the goose has to be good for the gander.
Today, TCM practitioners work closely with Health Canada to insure that ingredients from the Aristolochia genus are so highly controlled that they are almost impossible to purchase through legal channels. We have to wonder why Oppel would even consider referring to this incident that was dealt with well over a dozen years ago. Surely, a true scientist would be much more current in his research.
Moreover, Western Medicine presents a long history of recalling substances that have been found to be harmful after passing the Phase 3 clinical trials. The Wikipedia article, ‘Lists of withdrawn drugs,’(http://wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_withdrawn_drugs) cites well over 150 pharmaceuticals that fall into this category. From the 1960’s to the present, these drugs have been recalled from the Western Medicine practiced in Europe, the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Africa. This list includes the infamous Thalidomide (1961) that some of us, who are old enough still remember its horrendous and devastating consequences after it was prescribed for nausea and morning sickness during pregnancies. Although the drug has been recalled, it was reinstated later for some serious cases of cancers and leprosy.
Is Oppel insinuating that, any medical system that has prescribed medicinals that, before their recall have harmed patients, is too dangerous to receive university status? If he is, where does that leave Western Medicine?
Oppel further states that if “ … the courses being offered are not based on good evidence or if there is good evidence that the treatments being offered are ineffective or harmful, then, you know, offering things that are not really safe in a university context… then there is a risk the public may be harmed.” The Wikipedia entry on ‘Iatrogenesis’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Iatrogenesis), estimates that the following Iatrogenesis deaths occur yearly in the United States alone:
!2,000 from unnecessary surgeries;
7,000 from hospital medication errors;
20,000 from hospital errors;
80,000 from nosocomial;
106,000 from negative effects of drugs. (p.4)
Although the article explains that these deaths are not always deliberately and knowingly caused by incompetent physicians and/or inadequate health care facilities, they, nonetheless, do occur. According to Oppel’s so called scientific reasoning, universities, who should be fully aware that these things have happened, should not be putting patients at risk by offering Western Medical training.
The TCM Iatrogenesis are far less spectacular and infrequent. Last year, a Toronto based Massage Therapist who had learned what little he knew about Acupuncture through private studies and a course delivered on several weekends, caused an Olympic class athlete to suffer a pneumothorax that brought his competitive career to a sudden end. This unfortunate incident, caused by a practitioner that our own CTCMA would not have licensed to practice because his training was inadequate, was so rare and unusual that it attracted the attention of the national press. If this negligence had been perpetrated by a western doctor, the press would likely not even have noticed it.
Oppel can be forgiven for presenting these questionable positions. After all, he is the chair of his Association’s committee charged with promoting his own profession. But for the same reason, we must take his words with the traditional grain of salt. What he has done in these cases is nothing less than irresponsible, but understandable posturing and turf protection.
But what he has to say about Acupuncture, is totally un absolvable. He describes this most ancient, most complex, and most precise healing modality as “a random poke in the skin.” Whereas his previous comments reveal his bias, this definition reflects either his ignorance or maliciousness or both.
If Oppel really understood the complexities of Acupuncture, he could not possibly have arrived at this limiting definition. To select a specific acupoint, a fully trained, competent, acupuncturist must, among many other details, consider the interaction among the five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water), must be familiar with the organs associated with each element, must know the emotions associated with each organ imbalance, must be able to trace the pathways of the Meridians that transport the Qi among the organs and elements, and must know precisely where the individual acupoints exit the skin. The Acupuncturist must be able to determine all of this by palpating the human wrist pulse, examining the patient’s tongue, and asking the right questions to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. To pass their licensing examinations, Acupuncture students must demonstrate their ability to locate acupoints within a three mm. margin. If they are unable to do this, they are simply not licensed to practice in BC. This requirement demonstrates that their point location skills are anything but random.
Victoria based Doctor of Chinese Medicine, Dr. Xiaochuan Pan, the recent author of Classical Chinese Medicine Made Visible, states that the earliest Chinese practitioners claimed that a Classical doctor had to know “the heaven above, the earth below, and the human in the middle” (p. 3). This is quite an undertaking, certainly more than what Oppel’s insulting definition would imply. We have to assume that, if Dr. Oppel really knew all this and was entirely honest and ethical, he would not have arrived at such an inflammatory definition. If he knows even some of this and can still defend his word choice, then his motives have to be questioned.
Oppel identifies himself as a member of the elite “scientific medical community.” Science, as we know it, is a fairly recent phenomenon. It offers one of many forms of logic. Although some naïve people would force us to believe otherwise, it certainly is not the only system of reasoning and learning. Traditional Chinese Medicine predates science by approximately six thousand years. As Pan passionately maintains in his new text, it is unreasonable to subject TCM to a system that is so far removed from its origin. (p. 63). We do not subject the Great Wall of China or the pyramids built worldwide to today’s building codes. Yet these structures have stood the test of time. The civilizations that built them must have had access to other knowledge systems that pre date modern science. The same can be said about TCM.
The scientific method of reasoning does not answer all questions satisfactorily. Nor does it always work in favor of Western Medicine. Let me illustrate. We all like to believe that the medical doctor’s work save lives. If our premise is correct, then, when the doctors stop working, human mortality should increase. With this premise in mind, let us examine, for a moment, what has happened when doctors have participated in lengthily and major service interruptions such as strikes.
There have been several major doctors’ strikes in the last sixty years. Some of the longest ones took place in the 1960’s and 1970’s in various parts of the world: Saskatchewan (1962), Israel (1973), Columbia (1973), and Los Angeles (1976). During each of these strikes, the mortality rate actually dropped by 18 to 5o %. (Ranallo, Vancouver Sun, Letters to the Editor, February 22, 2013) Scientific reasoning would lead us to conclude that the doctors’ work may actually pose a life threat to their patients. This simple example should help us see that scientific reasoning has its limits.
We do not dismiss either Science or Western Medicine. We recognize their place in our complex, modern world. What we resent is an officer from Western Medicine using the prestige of his position to present criticisms of TCM that apply just as readily, if not more so, to his own profession.
Science is neither good nor bad. It just is. It is what we do with it that colors it. And, as Philip Coppens concludes in the Lost Civilization Enigma, for some people, science has become the new Inquisition that attempts to maintain the status quo by burning, at the stake, those who challenge it. ( p. 59). It is most unlikely that Oppel’s intention is to actually burn those who support the inclusion of TCM into a university system. But through his questionable comments, he is unethically attempting to mislead people to doubt the credibility of TCM, an amazing, safe, time tried, and ancient health care modality. Instead, as the officer in charge of health promotion for his own Association, he should not publically malign TCM or any other health care systems that, for the benefit of the patients, Western Medicine should endorse as partners in healing.
In his article, Carlito Pablo has presented a reasonably balanced view of the issue—whether TCM should be offered as a university discipline. He has given a fair and considerable amount of print space to Poppy Sabhaney, who speaks for the BC community of TCM practitioners. Although Sabhaney does correct some of the misinformation Oppel presents, he retains a positive and objective tone. He states that TCM ”… is as valid as western medicine” and that they “… both have their place” in BC’s health care system. As such, he represents the voice of reason, something that we need to cultivate to provide BC with the best health care choices.
Pablo is also fair to the BC Ministry of Health. He provides Minister Amrik Virk with the opportunity to explain why the Liberal government is supporting this recent move. The government, Virk insinuates, has listened to the people and wants to give them the choice they seek. Virk states that he is comfortable with this choice. “If one association has a slightly different view,” he states in a phone interview, “I am not going to be alarmed by that.”
Virk also dispels the accusation that the 2013 government’s pre election throne speech announcement that, in its next term, it would explore ways of making TCM a BC university discipline, was merely a political gesture to secure votes. “It about promises made and promises kept,” Virk stated. If the throne speech announcement had been designed only to draw votes from BC’s Chinese community, Premier Christy Clark, could have dropped the issue following her government’s undisputed victory at the polls. Because she did not, we have to assume that she was sincere when she endorsed the content of the throne speech.
Recently, the government has made three critical moves that continue to suggest that its interest in TCM is genuine. On January 24, it announced that the inaugural program would be hosted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University. This is an optimistic choice because it is well known that this university has wanted to do this. Dr. Tru Freeman, Dean of Kwantlen’s Faculty of Community and Health Studies, has demonstrated both her university’s and her own personal commitment to make TCM into a serious university discipline through her voluntary and repeated presence at several recent Greater Vancouver based TCM functions. She has demonstrated to the BC TCM community that it has the support of her university.
Also, in December 2013, Richard Lee, Burnaby North MLA, was appointed parliamentary secretary for Traditional Chinese Medicine in BC. Like Freeman, MLA Lee, has also attended many major TCM functions in the Lower Mainland. At these gatherings, he has gone out of his way to reach out to as many participants as he could. By so doing, he has revealed his long standing commitment to TCM. Because he has done this, he makes an excellent choice for this critical office. Both the TCM community and the province will benefit from his supportive leadership.
And lastly, Minister Virk hinted that the Kwantlen diploma program may be initiated as early as 2015. The close proximity of this date suggests that the government is seriously thinking about this bold and courageous move, a change that BC wants and needs.
So, if East and West have not yet met in British Columbia, they are about to do so at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the next year. Let us hope that the Doctors of BC will join us to help us celebrate this auspicious occasion, an event that may change health care delivery in this province. Already, some Eastern and Western practitioners are cooperating to offer the patients the best health care measures available. The general TCM support level has never been higher than it is today. This historic event will help to intensify this necessary collaboration. The university setting will also provide a platform for BC Eastern and Western Medicine to communicate objectively in an open, highly scrutinized, and ethical academic climate.
Received an official update on the HST/GST issue
UPDATE! Just announced in the Federal budget, the GST is being removed from professional acupuncture services, effective Feb 12, 2014. That means our small businesses will no longer have to carry the burden and expense of collecting tax (except, of course, where PST still applies to some products). It is a victory for the coalition of colleges from the five Canadian provinces to license acupuncture who have been working hard on the tax issue - Congratulations on a tough job well done.
Recently, ATCMA President Fei Che, and PR chair Beverly Osachoff met with John Lee, a key member of the coalition team, and Karin Wells, the producer of CBC Radio’s Sunday Edition show. The tax issue was one of a few important topics we had the pleasure to discuss at length.
近日，ATCMA会长车飞和公共关系会主席Beverly Osachoff会见了联盟小组的重要成员李永洲先生，和CBC广播电台的周日版节目的制片人Karin Wells。税务问题是我们谈到重要的议题之一。
It appears the legislative changes required to remove barriers to fair access to health insurance coverage for acupuncture may also gain some momentum from this. The Federal Government has acknowledged that our industry, having met the threshold of being licensed in five provinces, is entitled to some changes in status. We couldn’t agree more. Stay tuned for more to come.税法上的这次重要改变也可能会推进针灸被公平纳入其他医疗保险计划。联邦政府承认，我们的行业已符合在五个省合法执业的门槛，也有权利争取有利于行业发展的改变。我们完全同意。敬请期待更多的惊喜。
News from our Neighbours
Our colleagues in Oregon state have acted on their displeasure over “dry needling” by Chiropractors, launching a successful legal challenge. The Oregon court of appeals agreed that the use of needles falls beyond the scope of practice established by that state for Chiropractors, and the court finds “dry needling” is essentially an acupuncture technique.
Here is their statement:
“Petitioners challenge the validity of OAR 811-015-0036, a rule adopted by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners (the board) that authorizes chiropractic physicians to perform "dry needling." Petitioners assert that the rule exceeds the board's statutory authority, and they make several arguments to support that contention. We address only petitioners' first argument--that the challenged rule authorizes a technique that is not encompassed within the practice of "chiropractic," as defined by ORS 684.010(2)--which is dispositive. Because we conclude that dry needling does not fall within the practice of chiropractic, we declare OAR 811-015-0036 invalid.”
Here is the link to the details:
The ATCMA congratulates our colleagues in Oregon state for this important victory.BC中医针灸协会祝贺俄勒冈州的中医同仁此次取得的重大胜利！