Massage Therapy Licence Bill Causes Concern in Utah

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If you're a Massage Therapist in Utah then you may well have heard about the commotion a proposed new bill is making.

Lawmakers in the House Health and Human Services Committee for Utah have encouraged debate around their proposal which will require Massage Therapists to undertake 24 hours of continuous education every 2 years.  The mandatory education will be necessary for a Massage Therapist in Utah to retain their licence to practice.  Whilst the bill attempts to protect patients and encourage Massage Therapists to maintain and raise standards of care, many are concerned that this additional legislation would be prohibitive to part time Massage Therapists.

The HB351 bill states that it is designed to modify the Massage Therapy Practice Act by providing continuing education requirements.  The bill requires a massage thereapy licensee to complete continuing education during each license renewal cycle under standards defined in rule by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

" Section 58-47b-306 (1) As a condition for renewal of a license under this chapter, each licensee shall, during each two-year licensure cycle, complete 24 hours of continuing education in accordance with standards defined by division rules made in collaboration with the board. (2) If a renewal period is extended or shortened under Section 58-47b-303, the division shall proportionately increase or decrease the continuing education hours required for licensure renewal under this section. "

Massage TherapyMassage Therapists who work part-time are opposed to the new bill as it would be too costly and impractical to implement.  Their fears are that they would be edged out of their profession simply because they didn't work enough hours to cover the cost of continuing their education in such a way.

Some Massage Therapists have pointed out that liability insurance covers the areas of concern that the HB351 Bill is attempting to address.  However, some of the House Health and Human Services Committee members don't feel that insurance goes far enough.

Does this debate affect you?  Can part or full-time Massage Therapists afford the sort of extended education programs that this law is hoping to enforce?  Bear in mind that it's not just the cost of the continued education but also the number of hours it prevents a Massage Therapist from working in order to gain the additional education.  Do Massage Therapists need to be governed by more legislation and will it make enough of a difference to Massage clients to make the whole exercise worthwhile?

We're really interested to hear your views on this and any other area of Massage Therapy regulation.  What do you think will help Massage Therapists provide a better service to their clients? 

Please tell us what you think in the comment box below.. 

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