First TCM Professional Licenses
Portuguese government has issued the first Traditional Chinese Medicine Professional Licenses
On July 24th, 2003 the Portuguese parliament approved a new law regarding Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) therapies. This law provides a series of fundamental statements that give a legal umbrella for CAM.
After ten years in September 2013, Portuguese government published the law nº 71/2013, a law that regulates the previous on CAM regarding the professional exercise of all activities that apply to 7 CAM therapies (Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic and Homeopathy). In order for this law to be in full practice it needs some specific regulation (Ordinances or Bill’s) that has been being published during the next years.
Technical and deontological autonomy regarding CAM therapies professional practice is hereby recognized since 2013. CAM therapies professional license are being issued and ruled by the Ministry of Health.
Ministry of Higher Education will be responsible for defining and supervise training and qualification requirements in Higher Education Schools.
Only those who have a professional license can practice and only these can use the appropriate professional title;
To ask for a professional license one has to present a bachelor with sciences degree (degree in a specific CAM therapies). However this does not apply for all those professionals that are already working prior to the publication of this law. For these professionals will be applied a special transitory system (Grandfather Clause). All the specific rules, fees, etc., to apply for the professional license are explained is specific regulations.
This first TCM professional licenses that the Portuguese Government is issuing are for the professionals who were already working prior to 2013.
The acknowledgment of this health profession by a government it's huge, let's see if this can have a domino effect in other European countries.
By Ricardo Teixeira