The Chinese Medicine profession (including acupuncture) in New Zealand has applied to the Ministry of Health to be recognised under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003) and is currently waiting for the application to be processed. This will bring the profession into line with other Allied Health groups such as the physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths as well as the medical doctors, nurses and other health professions already included under the Act.
There are two main groups of practitioners in New Zealand – Acupuncture NZ with more than 600 members and NZASA with close to 400 members. Both groups require practitioners to hold at least a Bachelor degree in order to become a member. Members of both groups are required to also hold a First Aid Certificate and to complete a minimum of 20 hours Continuing Education each year in order to maintain a Practising Certificate.
Since 1990, acupuncturists have been recognised as treatment providers by the NZ Accident Compensation Corporation, the New Zealand government health insurance scheme. Everyone in New Zealand is covered by ACC’s no-fault scheme if they are injured in an accident. This includes children, beneficiaries, students, those who are working, unemployed or retired. The cover provided helps pay for the costs of recovery from an injury, including payment towards treatment, help at home and work, and help with income.
Many private and work-based health insurance schemes also cover at least part of the cost of treatment.
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