The Federation of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Societies of Australia Ltd (FCMA) has more than two decades of history. With its headquarters in Melbourne, the FCMA is a national Chinese medicine organisation incorporated by guarantee with more than 700 members. The FCMA has branches in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. Each branch of the FCMA has independent administration and has a committee with a President, Secretary, Treasurer and Academic Panel. Each branch has autonomy, but the standard of membership, public relations, health funds recognition, government lobbying and other important matters are regulated by the Federation. All practitioner members hold a minimum of a Chinese medicine bachelor degree or the equivalent and are bound by a high standard Code of Ethics. CHOICE Magazine recommended the FCMA as a reliable professional organisation representing Chinese medicine practitioners. The FCMA has been recognised by nearly 40 private health funds as providers of Chinese medicine services, allowing fund member rebates. Seminars and social networking events are organised regularly by branches and the FCMA has hosted international or national conferences annually.
Professor Tzi Chiang Lin has been re-elected annually as the national President of the FCMA since 1991. Under the leadership of Professor Lin and his team mates, the FCMA aims to promote the professional and social status of Chinese herbal medicine practitioners and acupuncturists (CM practitioners) in Australia and ensures the protection of patients as well as CM practitioners' interests. Several strategies for the development of Chinese medicine in Australia were developed when the FCMA was established. Two of those strategies have been implemented: the development of Chinese medicine undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the Australian tertiary education system and the statutory regulation of the Chinese medicine profession. We should be very proud of these achievements.
Over the years, the FCMA has lobbied State and Federal governments for the regulation of the Chinese medicine profession. This led to the passing of the "Chinese Medicine Registration Act 2000" in Victoria. A member of the Victorian Parliament, the Hon. B.C. Boardman made a statement during the second reading of the Chinese Medicine Registration Bill in the Legislative Council:
"...He has been one of Victoria's strongest advocates for the introduction of the legislation and the development a framework to protect the industry and the public. Without Professor Lin's knowledge, insight, enthusiasm, professionalism and participation over the many years prior to and during the development of the legislation-not just in Victoria but on a national level-honourable members possibly would not have been discussing tonight the introduction of this important bill. He is an asset to the industry, a gentleman and a wonderful Victorian, someone fondly regarded on all sides of politics."
Since the successful implementation of statutory regulation of CM practitioners in Victoria, the FCMA has made persistent efforts to lobby governments in other jurisdictions. Professor Lin met health ministers in Western Australia and South Australia, and attended numerous meetings with Commonwealth ministers for health and the National Director of the Therapeutic Goods of Administration (TGA). He organised and accompanied these officials to visit China for the purpose of facilitating an understanding of Chinese medicine. On July 18 2011 the Australian Health Ministers Council announced that the Chinese medicine profession will be included in the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) on July 1, 2012.
The FCMA has made a great effort to protect the interests of its members and the public. We have established efficient communication channels with the governments, the TGA and other organisations. Issues such as the legitimate use of scheduled herbs, and the GST-free status for Chinese medicine service items for members who practise in jurisdictions where Chinese medicine has not been regulated have been raised.
The FCMA is one of the foundation members of the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS), the largest international Chinese medicine organisation in the world. The headquarters of the WFCMS is situated in Beijing. Its Chairperson is Professor She Jing, former Vice Minister for Health and former Director-General of the SATCM in China. There are currently 159 Chinese medicine associations from more than 60 countries and regions in the world, with about 260,000 members. There are more than 30 Chinese medicine speciality Committees under WFCMS. The WFCMS has organised academic exchanges and further professional education worldwide. Chinese medicine level tests have been organised by the WFCMS and the FCMA has been authorised to organise these tests in Australia.
Professor Lin was elected as Vice-Chairman of the WFCMS and has been appointed as President of the WFCMS in the Oceania region. In May 2011, the Oceania Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (OFCMS) was successfully established in Oakland, New Zealand. Dr Wang Guoqiang, Vice Minister for Health, Director-General of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) of China attended the inaugural meeting and Professor Li Zhenji, Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of the WFCMS chaired the meeting. The new establishment of the OFCMS will strengthen bilateral relations and mutual recognition of membership in Australia and New Zealand.
We sincerely welcome all CM practitioners with professional qualifications and/or appropriate clinical experience to join our societies. Herbal traders are also welcomed. Please contact your local branch of FCMA for initial inquiries. For a list, Contact Us page.