To what degree is TCM being integrated with conventional medicine in Canada?

Although TCM is used by many people and integrated with conventional medicine in Canada among many individual Canadians, there is very little systemic integration of TCM with the Canadian medical care system. For example, I have been asked to treat patients in hospitals by patients themselves or by their parents, but the hospital has no TCM doctors on staff and there are no established procedures or policies in place for us. At legislation level, the Natural Health Product Directorate of Health Canada is responsible for the regulation of TCM products to ensure their safety, quality, and effectiveness. British Columbia is the only province that recognizes doctors of TCM and TCM herbalists by law.

Integration of TCM and Western medicine started in China over fifty years ago. There, it is the individual's own choice whether they want to use TCM, Western medicine, or both. There are two types of hospitals: general hospitals where doctors practice Western medicine only, and TCM hospitals where doctors practice both TCM and Western medicine.

The integration of TCM with Western medicine enhances the effect of Western medicine and reduces the cost of our health care system by improving people's health in general and by providing alternatives to those who choose TCM.

Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

© 2005, Coalition of Canadian Healthcare Museums and Archives

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