Petition to Protect Freedom to Practice Acupuncture in Utah
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The undersigned are patients, students, volunteers, and/or employees of affordable acupuncture clinics in Utah and around the country. Affordable acupuncture is a vital healthcare option for us and for our communities.
We implore you to not increase the licensing requirements for new acupuncturists who wish to practice in Utah by adding an extra exam based on Chinese Herbology. We need more acupuncturists in Utah, not fewer, and this would create a major barrier to having more acupuncturists practice in Utah. Currently, there are approximately 100 acupuncturists in Utah, not nearly enough to serve a state with over three million people. Local affordable clinics are understaffed and unable to meet patient demand. This proposed rule change would hurt local businesses, future acupuncturists, and members of the community who use acupuncture as part of their health care.
The proposed rule change would prevent students who are attending POCA Tech (the country’s most affordable acupuncture school) from practicing in Utah, as well as any other students who are attending schools that do not offer an herbal program. In order to sit for the herbal exam, these students would need to attend one to two years of extra schooling at a different school, incurring tens of thousands of dollars of additional expense. Importantly, anyone in Utah can buy and sell Chinese herbs, including vitamin shops and Asian grocery stores. Thus, this proposed rule change would not in any way serve to protect public safety; rather, it would only serve to make it much more difficult and expensive for acupuncture students to practice in Utah, as well as impede local businesses from being able to provide this vital service to the public. Thank you for your consideration.
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