Court Unseals Order, Closes Illegal Richmond Clinic
June 30, 2016
Today in the BC Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Grauer issued permanent injunctions against a couple running an underground clinic out of their Richmond home. A Search and Seize Order was issued and carried out in March assisted by the RCMP. That Order was unsealed today revealing an investigation that uncovered thousands of acupuncture needles and hypodermic syringes; prescription-only pharmaceuticals; and clinical records involving thousands of patients from 2004 to March 2016.
The injunctions were sought by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of BC (CTCMA). CTCMA is the governing body for the TCM profession and a member of the BC Health Regulators. Under provincial statute each regulator has a responsibility to protect the public from incompetent and unregulated individuals masquerading as one of their own. The BC Health Regulators website provides a full list of regulated health professions at www.bchealthregulators.ca.
“These two individuals are examples of the imposters that prey on the public, providing cheap unregulated health care to vulnerable unwell people. The solution is very simple: every regulatory college has a website with a list of its registrants – make sure that the health practitioner you are going to is listed” warned Dr. Mary Watterson, Registrar of the CTCMA.
In February the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority contacted the CTCMA to report an anonymous complaint that acupuncture was being practiced illegally at a private residence on Colville Road in Richmond. BC Assessment documents revealed that the premises are registered to tenants Jhan Jhan Lee and Wai Cheong Chik.
Surveillance operations were conducted by private investigators hired by the CTCMA. A three day surveillance disclosed business being conducted on a large scale, including a report of over 140 vehicles arriving and leaving.
Following the March 24, 2016 seizure of material and documents from the Richmond home, the CTCMA also applied for the injunction against Ms. Lee. In addition, the Court has awarded CTCMA costs of over $36,000.
Watterson’s message to the public is “Protect yourself by ensuring that your TCM practitioner is registered with CTCMA. Look them up in the Member Registry on our website www.ctcma.bc.ca. and contact us immediately if they are not registered.”
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