Saskatchewan Introduces Legislation to Regulate Massage Therapy
Today the Government of Saskatchewan introduced The Massage Therapy Act. This legislation will establish the Saskatchewan College of Massage Therapy, a new regulatory body that will govern massage therapists in the province.
The Act will help protect the public if there are instances of unethical or incompetent practitioners, and will provide title protection for massage therapists (only members of the College will be able to use certain professional titles such as massage therapist and registered massage therapist).
“Establishing self-regulation for massage therapy in our province will help ensure that the services people receive are safe and appropriate,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “This will give greater assurance to the public that the practitioner they’re seeing meets established competency standards. Also, if there are any concerns regarding the practitioner’s competence or conduct there will be a mechanism in place to address those concerns.”
The Saskatchewan College of Massage Therapy will be established as a new stand-alone regulatory body, separate from any of the three existing associations - Massage Therapists Association of Saskatchewan (MTAS), Natural Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC), and Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association (CCMOTA), which will continue to exist as advocacy organizations for the profession, similar to the Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) for physicians.
Once established, the new regulatory body will develop competency and practice standards, a code of ethics and an investigation/discipline process for the profession.
The Massage Therapy Act has received strong support from individual massage therapy practitioners and the three massage therapy associations.
A joint statement of support for the legislation was issued by the three associations representing massage therapists (Massage Therapists Association of Saskatchewan, Natural Health Practitioners of Canada and Canadian Massage and Manual Osteopathic Therapists Association):
“We strongly believe there is public support for regulation of massage therapy in the province and certainly believe it is in the best interest, not only of anyone practicing massage therapy in Saskatchewan but also for members of the public seeking massage therapy services.”
The Massage Therapy Act will come into force by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.