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Acupuncture is big business in NZ

Acupuncture is big business in NZ

New Zealanders spend nearly $70 million a year on acupuncture treatments, new figures show.

Acupuncture treatments in New Zealand are covered by ACC as long as the treatment is provided by a member of the NZ Register of Acupuncturists (NZRA) or the New Zealand Acupuncture Standards Authority (NZASA).

NZRA president, Paddy McBride, says ACC spent $24 million on acupuncture in the 2013/14 financial year.

A survey of members of NZRA in 2010 would indicate that this accounted for just 42 percent of all patients seen by NZRA members.

“Add to this top-up charges that are additional to the ACC funding, and the fact that private patients comprise nearly 60 percent of our work, and the value of acupuncture treatments in New Zealand is nearly $70 million annually.”

Ms McBride says a 2006 survey of NZ GPs found 86 percent considered acupuncture was beneficial and nearly 80 percent said that they would refer their patients for acupuncture treatment. Current referrals appear to be even higher than this.

Ms McBride has been invited to speak at the 2014 International Forum for Korean Medicine in early December to present on the state of the acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine sector in New Zealand.

“The profession is growing rapidly here as it is throughout the rest of the western world. It is now possible for students to complete NZQA-approved Bachelor and Masters programmes here in New Zealand,” she said.


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