Community Acupuncture in Quebec: Exciting Update!!

  • From Simon Goulet
  • May 2014
  • I have great news to share !!! What has just happened here is unheard of and many acupuncturists just can't believe what just happened. Until recently, in Quebec province, it was illegal to practice community acupuncture. I heard stories about people wanting to open Community Acupuncture clinics but no one dared since the stakes where too high. Different avenues where taken but not much was done all in all since the regulatory system is so constraining. The Ordre des acupuncteurs du Québec (OAQ) is the self-regulatory body that governs Quebec's 800 professional acupuncturists. In Quebec, the OAQ carefully monitors compliance with rules of this trade and with the professional integrity of members, to protect the public, while also overseeing the development of the acupuncture profession. For them community acupuncture was a menace somehow, and thought that it was unfair competition because of low prices, a lack of confidentiality and that the treatments given in such a context are not optimal (not the best an acupuncturist can give). The mountain was too big to climb.
  • I had a conversation with the lawyers who work for l'Ordre des Acupuncteurs in Québec. The way they see it now is that, since it is a business model, they can’t associate themselves with it, since if they do say yes or no to a business model, then they will have to do the same with other models anyone proposes. Then they will be intervening in a domain that is reserved to the acupuncturists, their role being the protection of the public. So all in all, the great news is that Community acupuncture is no longer illegal in Quebec, it is now up to us to define what it will be like here… to figure out how we are going to do it and if it corresponds to the values of our profession (I say yes!) But it should be an open debate.
  • For now I think that most acupuncturists don't understand how this new model will transform the way we practice acupuncture in Quebec!! I posted it on FB (we have a page called acubook where half the acupuncturists in Quebec are member) and anyhow the first time it was erased, someone realized that I was promoting something that was going against the OAQ vision of acupuncture. This situation pushed me to invite the OAQ to come to the POCA 101 conference. My guess is that they probably looked at POCA's web site and figured you punks are bigger than they are, and so the conversation….
  • The lawyer to whom I talked to, confirmed that to be legit, we need to have closed door interviews, a curtain or separator between the chairs or beds and to be careful about what we proclaim. In the sense that we can’t say that our way is better than traditional acupuncture. All that is ok by me; the main objective being the accessibility of treatments. Also, my colleagues and I believe that this could be a great opportunity to create a network and have clinics work together. For instance, if we realize that someone needs extra care and attention we can refer them to an experienced traditional acupuncturist that will take the extra time needed. I don't think that community acupuncture will come in competition with traditional acupuncture, but will fill a huge gap and bring popularity to all acupuncture.
  • I am not the only one pushing to have community acupuncture happen here, and so I think it is the multiplicity of circumstances that have made this possible. BUT I really think that having POCA over in Montreal is a huge help !!!!! Just having such a solid movement at our back is probably what sealed the deal. Great thanks !!!
  • Actually, I have been having conversations with other acupuncturists and they can’t believe what just happened. Maybe that is why I am not getting more response on FB, people are not catching on that things are changing.
Author: POCAGuestBlog

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  1. Wow! Great work. I have a patient in a chair right now who is French Canadian, she will be bursting to hear that she can get community acupuncture treatments back in her country. I will wait for her to wake up first of course;)
    You moved so quick on that, seems like only a few weeks ago I was reading the acupop post on how it isn’t legal.

  2. Woohoo! I’m so happy this is happening. We at Toronto Acupuncture Studio gets tons of folks from Montreal asking, ‘when is this coming to Montreal?’

    Looking forward to connecting with you all at the 101 workshop in July!