Richmond MP denounces decision to drop Chinese version of traditional Chinese medicine exam
Beginning this fall, students studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in British Columbia will not be able to take their national registration exams in Chinese.
The regulatory body for traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and acupuncturists is blocking acceptance of TCM in Canada with its recent decision not to allow students to take their Canadian Chinese-language certification exams, says Richmond MP North Center Teresa Wat.
Beginning this fall, students studying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in British Columbia will not be able to take their national registration exams in Chinese. The decision infuriated practitioners in the Richmond Chinese community, who launched an online petition in January to urge the regulator to reconsider its decision.
Wat, who held a Zoom meeting with local TCM practitioners last week, told the Richmond News that the move was “inappropriate” and that the move would hold back further development of TCM in Canada.
The Canadian Alliance of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists Regulators, also known as CARB-TCMPA, said in a statement that the decision was not taken lightly and that it recognized the value of Chinese languages ââin relation to TCM. But translating and preparing for exams in languages ââother than English incurs additional costs and takes time.
Wat said that the Alliance’s âexcuseâ made no sense since the translation costs were all coming out of students’ pockets.
“They (CARB-TCMPA) can charge more as long as the students are willing to cover the cost.”
However, the CARB-TCMPA said passing costs on to applicants could create a financial burden and potentially introduce a barrier to entry into the profession.
Wat also notes that the regulator’s decision-making process does not align with the spirit of Canadian democracy.
âAnytime there is a policy change, you have to go through a consultation process. But for this particular initiative, they never consulted or even communicated with students and practitioners, âWat said.
British Columbia is the only province in Canada that has allowed students to take exams in both languages, Wat said, noting that the policy change could close the doors to students who have limited language skills but are passionate about it. through the practice of TCM.
Additionally, Wat said TCM is deeply rooted in Chinese culture and some concepts and meanings will be lost in the translation.
âMany practitioners told me that they even had to study classical Chinese to better understand TCM. Many TCM experts live in China. If you want to keep up with the latest progress and developments in TCM, you need to communicate with these practitioners in China, âWat said, adding that it would be best to keep both language options open.