The Health Bureau (SSM) will stop issuing new licenses to Chinese medicine practitioners, acupuncturists, masseurs, dental professionals and sports medicine therapists once the city’s latest medical professional qualification and registration regime comes into effect, according to the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly (AL).
According to the SSM’s previous explanation, these professionals are mostly holders of secondary education degrees or they have learnt the relevant skills from other people.
The policy does not mean Macau will stop having qualified Chinese medicine “practitioners,” however.
It means that only Chinese medicine doctors who hold proper qualifications and degrees issued by qualified universities will be licensed.
The bill proposes that new licenses will not be issued and the renewal of current licenses will depend on whether professionals meet qualification requirements in terms of the sustainability of their respective profession.
In regards to the regulation, the SSM explained that the Chinese medicine degrees held by Macau people were mainly issued by mainland China. However, mainland China does not provide the relevant courses anymore and the number of professionals has decreased.
“After all, [the government] probably thinks they are not qualified,” said the chairman of the Second Standing Committee of AL, Chan Chak Mo.
Once the law comes into effect, services such as acupuncture and massage must be provided by a Chinese medicine doctor not a Chinese medicine practitioner, and dental services must be provided by a dentist.
The Macau government previously selected the field of Chinese medicine as a target industry for development under the economic diversification plan for the city. The other major industries include the convention and exhibition industry, and the cultural and creative industries, as well as the facilitator role Macau holds as a platform for trade and cooperation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries. JZ