Dec. 27, 2002. 01:00 AM
Acupuncturists need standards

More patients have skin disease

Dec. 24.

I have been following your story on the infected patients of an acupuncturist.

I am a practising acupuncturist, registered by the Committee for Certified Acupuncturists of Ontario (CCAO). We have long been trying to convince the government to set standards and license our profession, thus eliminating the unqualified and the charlatans from our midst. So far, nothing has been done in Ontario, as there does not seem to be the political will or interest in the subject.

I was a medical doctor in Beijing, where I also learned acupuncture as part of medical training. You cannot learn to do acupuncture overnight. You need a thorough knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and enough medical knowledge to ensure that no harm is done. Not every patient will benefit from acupuncture and some people with certain deceases (like skin problems or a history of fainting) should not have acupuncture. Also, with needles costing less than five cents each, there is absolutely no reason to re-use them.

Your exposé might help our cause, since, I believe, the authorities cannot ignore it any longer when the safety and health of the public is at stake.

Thank you for bringing this issue to the public's attention.

Jie Zhou, Toronto

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