UPDATE:  Ottawa Public Health lifted its order and allowed the clinic to reopen on Aug. 6.

New Acupuncture clinic beds

The New Acupuncture clinic has 20 beds with plastic sheets, but clients are encouraged to bring their own sheets, the owners told CBC News. (Judy Trinh/CBC)

Ottawa Public Health ordered the New Acupuncture Clinic at 1340 Wellington St. W. to close its doors on Wednesday after its inspectors found the clinic failed to properly dispose of needles, had improper hand hygiene and used expired products, according to a city media release issued Friday.

The public health investigation began after a complaint against the clinic was filed on July 14 against the New Acupuncture Clinic at 1340 Wellington St. West, according to a City of Ottawa news release issued Friday.

The clinic was assessed nine days later and inspectors found "several deficiencies" in infection prevention and control (IPAC) practices that could "potentially result in a health hazard," the city said.

They included improper use, handling and disposal of sterile needles, improper hand hygiene, expired alcohol-based hand gel and cleaning products, as well as improper use of personal protective equipment.

A follow-up inspection on Wednesday found the issues had not been addressed and the clinic's owners were ordered to close it until it meets the IPAC standards.

Court appearance

The College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario has applied for an injunction to prevent one of the practitioners at the clinic from treating clients.  The college alleges Alexander Tran is not a licensed acupuncturist. 

Alexander Tran is expected to appear in court on Aug. 11.

The clinic deals with about 50 customers per day and has about 20 beds that are sprayed down after each use, its owners told CBC News on Friday. Clients are encouraged to bring their own sheets.

Sessions cost $35 an hour, clients pay in cash and receipts are drawn up at the end of the week, the owners said.

Public health does not normally inspect acupuncturists, who are regulated by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario.


  • An earlier version of this story reported that the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of Ontario was taking Alexander Tran and his son to court in order to shut down the clinic permanently. The College's application was only for an injunction against Alexander Tran. The CTCMPAO alleges Alexander Tran did not register with the College. As of April 1, 2013, all acupuncturists practising in Ontario were required to register with the College. The CBC apologizes for the error.
    Sep 18, 2015 12:10 PM ET