Several medical associations issued a joint statement yesterday opposing a bill that would allow overseas-educated chiropractors to be certified without having to take certification tests.
Taiwan Medical Association president Wu Nan-her (
"Legislators should not customize the laws simply for the few who are educated overseas," Wu said. "Say someone goes abroad to study feet, does that mean there should be laws protecting the interests of podiatrists as well?"
Wu said Department of Health officials have been reluctant to express a clear opinion on the matter.
"Both the Minister of Health and the chief of the department of medical affairs are doctors -- they know [the bill] is wrong," Wu said. "But they have to hold public hearings anyway because of the pressure from the legislators."
Before diagnosing spinal problems, chiropractors should first exclude other potential causes such as tumors, fractures or infections, Wu said.
But chiropractic training does not include the study of internal medicine, and chiropractors are therefore unqualified to make medical diagnoses, Wu said.
He said it would confuse the public if chiropractors were treated like doctors.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (
"I just want to say [to chiropractors supporting the bill]: Please take the certification exam in Taiwan," Lai said.
Physical Therapy Association general-secretary Wendy Wang (王子娟) said that as someone with a doctorate in physical therapy, she could not agree with the bill's proposals.
Pointing to a statement downloaded from the Taiwan Chiropractic Doctors' Society's Web page about the treatment of lower-back pain, Wang said that chiropractors attempt to associate all symptoms with spinal problems.
"I am sure chiropractors could find a way of diagnosing someone with low immunity as having spinal problems," Wang said. "What they are doing is confusing the public on the difference between orthodox medical treatment and alternative treatments."
The vice chairman of the Taiwan Chiropractic Doctors' Society, Chen Chia-en (
Chen has previously said that the government's failure to establish a workable certification system for chiropractors had led to an increase in illegal practitioners.
An unnamed chiropractor was quoted in the same report as saying that the WHO recognizes chiropractic treatment.
As a certified physical therapist locally and a certified chiropractor in the US, he has four years of medical school training and four more years of chiropractic training, the man said.
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