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CMTBC statement on whether RMTs should suspend all practice in the face of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Many RMTs have asked CMTBC whether the COVID-19 pandemic means that all massage therapy practice should be suspended. This is a complex question that calls for the application of public health principles to the practice of massage therapy. Also, CMTBC as a regulator does not have the legal authority to order RMTs to cease practice. CMTBC’s approach is that it will both relay and follow the guidance provided by BC’s Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, M.D.

CMTBC has created a one-stop information webpage, COVID-19 Information for Registrants. This page will be updated regularly, and CMTBC will continue to send updates by e-blast to its 5,000+ registrants.

Some RMTs have asked CMTBC to speak independently and perhaps in advance of public health directives. Instead, CMTBC has asked whether either the Ministry of Health or the Provincial Health Officer can provide guidance specific to touch-intensive health professions such as massage therapy, in which at least some public health directives (e.g. “social distancing”) cannot be observed due to the nature of the treatment.

CMTBC will share any public health guidance that is provided. In the interim, each RMT has an individual choice to make as a health professional. CMTBC understands the challenges – financial, ethical, and personal – of the choice to work or not to work in this climate. CMTBC’s Code of Ethics is a tool that may help guide RMTs in their decision-making process.

This situation is unprecedented and fluid. CMTBC appreciates that RMTs are looking for guidance at a time when making any decision comes with both risks and costs.

Differentiating between “essential” and “non-essential” health services is not black and white, though it plays a role in decision-making. CMTBC’s position is that there is no requirement for any RMT to continue to provide massage therapy services.

A list of frequently asked questions is currently being compiled. While we have done our best to keep up with incoming questions; please understand however that we may not be able to answer each question individually.

Thank you for your understanding as we all navigate the complexities and uncertainties of the current situation. 

Deadlines and timelines

  • Standard First Aid and CPR-C
  • Quality Assurance and continuing education credits

We are aware that some RMTs are currently unable to schedule recertification for SFA/CPR-C prior to expiry of their existing certification. This will be addressed: please check the COVID-19 Information for Registrants web page in the near future for further details. If your SFA/CPR-C expires in the next two months, please send an email to [email protected], subject line “SFA/CPR-C expiring, unable to recertify/COVID-19” and include your name in the subject line.

The same applies to CEC deadlines and timelines; we are aware that many continuing education courses have been cancelled and may be impossible to reschedule. Please consult the approved activities list, which includes many courses that are available online.

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