Australia: In Sydney on Aug. 12-13, 2006, the Chiropractors' Association of Australia (CAA), with co-sponsorship from the Chiropractic Association (Singapore), the New Zealand Chiropractic Association and the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, held the CAA's first Policy Forum and Scientific Symposium.The Scientific Symposium is to be an annual event.
The keynote speaker at the policy forum was Dr. Cheryl Hawk, the vice president of research at Cleveland College of Chiropractic, addressing the subject, "Are We Asking the Right Questions?" Dr. Hawk emphasized the need to move beyond research focusing on musculoskeletal pain to research reflecting the whole chiropractic clinical encounter, chiropractic core values and the broader goals of chiropractic care. These views were then reviewed by subsequent speakers, an open panel and the audience.
Speakers included the leaders of three of the four chiropractic educational programs in Australia and New Zealand - Dr. Philip Ebrall, head of the division of chiropractic, RMIT University, Melbourne; Dr. Sharyn Eaton, head of the Department of health and chiropractic, Macquarie University, Sydney; and Dr. Brian Kelly, president of the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, Auckland, New Zealand.
At the scientific symposium, The Mary Ann Chance and Rolf Peters First Prize for Research went to Dr. Ken Kamei and Barbara Polus of RMIT, for a paper on the reliability and validity of surface electromyography (SMEG) for measurement of the functional status of lumbar paraspinal muscles during unsupported sitting. First prize for research from practitioners in full-time practice went to Dr. Adrian Wenban and Dr. Michelle Nielson of Spain for "Chiropractic Maintenance Care and the Quality of Life of Relatively Asymptomatic Patients - A Prospective Case Series."
Brazil: When the Brazilian Chiropractic Association (Associação Brasileira de Quiropraxia - ABQ) was formed 13 years ago in 1993, there were three chiropractors in the country. From Sept. 12-16, 2006, nearly 400 chiropractors and chiropractic students attended the ABQ's First Brazilian Chiropractic Congress, held in Curitiba. Brazil now has two university-based programs: one at the Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo, with approximately 250 students; and one at Feevale University Centre in Novo Hamburgo, with approximately 500 students.
The five-day congress featured three days of technique from national and international lecturers. and a one-day interdisciplinary scientific symposium on contemporary management of back pain, which featured speakers not only from chiropractic but also physical medicine and rehabilitation, surgery, physical therapy and osteopathy. Imaging lectures and workshops were given by Dr. Ian McLean of Palmer College, which continues to support the Feevale program. Chiropractic is growing rapidly in Brazil and Latin America in general. Congratulations to three visionary leaders in Brazil - current ABQ President Dr. Ricardo Fujikawa and Past Presidents Dr. Sira Borges and Dr. Eduardo Bracher.
Canada: The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA) and its members, working with the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and pursuing a role and identity for chiropractic consistent with that agreed upon last year by the WFC membership, continue to make significant advances in establishing chiropractic as a mainstream health care service. Two major recent developments in Ontario have been successful pilot projects introducing chiropractic services in newly reorganized primary health care teams and at a major urban teaching hospital.
The first project, led by Dr. Sil Mior of CMCC, who also has been appointed a senior clinical consultant within the Ministry of Health, is particularly important. Delivery of primary health care is being reorganized under the government health plan and it is important that chiropractic services be an integral part of the new multidisciplinary teams being formed. Results of the pilot projects show that chiropractic services are being warmly welcomed by all parties - patients, family physicians and others in the health care teams - and are proving cost-effective. Dr. Mior will be presenting a detailed report at the WFC Congress in Portugal in May 2007.
The second project, led by Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles, is at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, and has been so successful that many administrators and medical staff at other hospitals are aware of it and are considering a similar development. The timing is good: There is a significant shortage of family physicians and a health care funding in crisis in Canada, which Canada's 6,500 chiropractors can help to solve.
Kenya: Following the WFC Council meeting in Johannesburg in late June, Canadian representative Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles met with Dr. Thomas Adagala of Nairobi, the leader of the five chiropractors in Nairobi and Kenya who form the Kenyan Chiropractic Association. Dr. Adagala, who has been practicing in Nairobi since he graduated from Sherman College in 1980, confirms that chiropractors in Kenya have practice permits granted by the Ministry of Health, but that, as yet, there is no law providing minimum standards of education. The KCA members meet monthly and are making progress with public education and private insurance coverage, but have limited resources. The great majority of patients are self-funded. Infrastructure problems in Kenya mean Dr. Adagala is best contacted by regular mail or telephone. His contact information - and contact info for the leaders of the profession in all countries - is available at www.wfc.org under "Contacts."
Peru: There were five chiropractors in Peru in 1998; today the Peruvian Chiropractors' Association (Asociacion Peruana de Quiropractica - APQ) represents 17 of Peru's 25 chiropractors. The AQP has been led effectively and strongly during the past decade by Dr. Felipe Castro-Mendevil, a Life West graduate who formerly had a successful career as a classical guitarist. While there is not yet law to recognize and regulate the practice of chiropractic in Peru, much progress has been made in preparation for law. Major insurance companies are now providing chiropractic benefits; an interdisciplinary asthma research project is currently underway , under the APQ's Research Committee; and there is planning for a chiropractic school in Peru.
At the APQ Assembly on Sept. 9, 2006, with Dr. Castro-Mendevil having decided not to run for president again, Dr. Carlos Ayres was unanimously elected president for a two-year term. Dr. Ayres is a graduate of the New York Chiropractic College. Dr. Castro-Mendevil will remain on as Secretary.
South Korea: Until 2006, South Korea remained one of the two countries in which duly qualified chiropractors were still being prosecuted and convicted for practicing medicine without a license. Following meetings arranged by the Korean Chiropractic Association (KCA) and the WFC last November, including a Symposium on Chiropractic at the Korean National Assembly, the Ministry of Health agreed to a moratorium on prosecutions.
According to KCA President Dr. Taeg Su Choi, not only was the moratorium held, but also a private members' Chiropractic Bill, signed by 24 legislators, was introduced in the Assembly during October. Given these encouraging developments a WFC delegation will again travel to Korea in late November, where another Chiropractic Symposium will be held at the Legislative Assembly on Nov. 24, 2006.
Thailand: In August 2006, Thailand became the second country in Asia, after Hong Kong, to pass legislation recognizing and regulating the practice of chiropractic. Congratulations to Dr. Oak Buranasombati, president of the Thailand Chiropractic Association, and the members of the TCA. The Minister of Health signed the law in mid-August, it became law 30 days later, and it is not expected that the recent bloodless coup in Thailand will have any impact on this or other regulatory laws. All chiropractors in Thailand now will have to complete a licensing examination before they are granted licenses.