Crackdown on alternative therapy19th January 2009
The first regulatory body to be responsible for the UK's alternative medicine practitioners was launched on 19 January.
The co-chairman of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), Maggie Dunn, said the people who used complementary medicine deserved "proper assurances".
The major focus of the CNHC's work will be to collect and maintain a register of people practicing alternative medicine.
The CHNC will not decide if the therapies on offer actually work or not, but instead will ensure they are practiced safely and professionally.
The register, which is backed by the government, will only hold the details of those therapists who are able to prove they are experienced, trained and insured.
Ms Dunn told the BBC News website: "I think most of the profession is operating to good standards, but we know not everyone will be able to register."
"If that means that people who are not up to scratch are driven out of business, I will not cry for them."
It is estimated that there are more than 150,000 complementary medicine therapists at work in the UK.
Ms Dunn stated that she thought around 50 to 60% of therapists would be placed on the register. Those therapists would be able to put the regulator symbol on their business cards and advertisements.
The remainder would require some more training to be able to find a place on the register, although "many thousands" would not have a place.
Therapists will pay a fee of £45 to join the register and joining it will be voluntary.
Ms Dunn said: "It won't take long for customers to start asking whether a practitioner is registered or searching on our website for ones that are."
"They will then vote with their feet."
In the first months massage therapists and nutritionists will be able to apply for the register before it is extended to other therapies later in the year.
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Thursday 11th June 2009 @ 6:31
And how do people misdiagnosed by NHS medical professionals 'vote with their feet'? They have no-where to go - they do not even have a legal path to follow.
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Title: Crackdown on alternative therapy
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 9863
Date Added: 19th Jan 2009